Back when our parents were growing up, there was a lot of controversy in the United States about the tobacco industry and its manipulation and deception on the American population over the true dangers of tobacco and smoking cigarettes. Now, because of programs and campaigns such as D.A.R.E. and the truth campaign, statistics show that smoking has decreased within teens and the American population in general. In recent decades there has been a shift in which industry is now seen as the “bad guy” in America: the food industry.
The food industry has taken on a bad name for very similar reasons as the tobacco industry in the past: manipulation and misconception to its audience about the dangers of ingredients in processed, and even unprocessed, foods they are consuming, as well as the sources of these foods. Several documentaries have been produced and widely watched across the U.S. which show the realities of the sources of our food and why they are a detriment to our health.
Here are three powerful documentaries that just may change the way you eat after watching them:
Forks Over Knives challenges the diet of the average American citizen of processed foods and animal-based products, which according to the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, points to evidence that these types of foods are the cause of many degenerative diseases in the nation. Diseases and medical scares such as heart disease, cancer, and strokes are a few of the leading causes of death in the United States and, according to the research presented in this documentary, may be caused by the foods and preservatives found in the foods we consume daily. Forks Over Knives suggests that we can prevent, and even reverse, these problems with a proper diet free of preservatives and consisting of much fewer animal-based products.
Before food even reaches the shelves at the grocery store, it must be approved by the standards of the United States Drug Administration (USDA) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Their standards are meant to keep consumers safe from what we eat and drink, but what if their standards are compromised for profit and capital gain? Food Inc., directed and produced by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, features interviews with various experts in the food and farming industries that explain the dangers at hand with having the nation’s food supply in the control of corporations. Food Inc. reveals the “shocking truth” about the food we eat, the production process and how these two factors are related to the onset of obesity, diabetes and other ailments in America.
Fed Up is a documentary from Katie Couric, Laurie David, and director Stephanie Soechtig which reveals the falsehoods American citizens have been told by the U.S. government and food industry over the last 30 years. Beginning in the 1980s, Americans have been told to exercise more, eat less and that foods labeled “diet,” “low calorie” and “fat free” are the solution to living a healthy lifestyle. The experts featured in this documentary provide evidence why these notions are false and how the American diet is filled with processed sugars and preservatives which are often hidden in foods marketed as “healthy” or “diet” foods, making weight loss nearly impossible for the obese population. They challenge the government and other authority figures who hold the power of how food is marketed to children and loaded with secret sugars to reveal the truth about what they’re advising America to do to get healthy.
When it comes to our health and wellness, it is important to hear different perspectives on topics like food sources, causes of diseases, and health care in order to make informed decisions on our own consumption habits. In order to be a more mindful consumer, educating ourselves with supplemental materials such as these three documentaries is a necessary action to take. Forks Over Knives, Food Inc. and Fed Up are all available for download and purchase.
By: Natalie Topalian