Thursday, December 18, 2014

favourite documentaries about the food industry

Very specific title, eh? But I thought it'd be best to get straight to the point with this one! As an aspiring nutritionist, I find myself constantly scouring the internet for info about different health topics that have piqued my interest. Over the last two years or so, I have come across quite a few documentaries that played a huge role in my goal of pursuing a career in nutrition, as well as my aim to lead a healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle.
For me, my ultimate goal when it comes to health and lifestyle, is to live in a way that creates a positive impact, upon myself and others, or at least yields no impact (i.e. having a small carbon footprint). I believe that a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is one of the best ways to do this, as well as sticking with cruelty-free products and services. In this day and age it's nearly impossible to live completely cruelty-free, as sad as that is to admit, but that doesn't mean we can't all do our part to educate ourselves and make wise choices.
I don't appreciate when others shove their opinions down my throat (that is such a grody visual), so I personally don't ever want to do so either, but with a topic that's so near and dear to my heart, I felt it would be almost dishonest of me to just never mention it on my blog.
Although I do want to share this information, I'm still a novice and have a lot to learn. These documentaries supplied a lot of the facts behind my decisions on how to lead my life, so I feel that sharing them is currently the best way for me to share this information, because the last thing I'd want to do is spew out information that I technically have no right giving out since I'm not a registered nutritionist or dietician (YET!). I know a lot of people won't find these documentaries interesting at all, but to those that take the time to watch even just one, I'm sure it'll make a positive impact on you!

Since there are so many I have here, I'll give you brief, little run-downs of each! I really do hope you check out a few of them and let me know what you think:

So let's start with the most basic and easy-to-stomach documentaries: Foodmatters, Hungry for Change, and Forks Over Knives all focus mainly on the food industry in general and the facts often swept under the rug. These are all presented in a very factual, straight to the point manner, and each make a point in promoting more whole-/plant- based foods. These documentaries do have quite a lot of overlapping information, so even just checking out one would give you a huge dose of reality about our food industry. But if you're looking for a documentary that will REALLY open your eyes, the next three are sure to do the trick….

 I know a lot of people tend to avert their eyes and ignore videos and pictures about factory farming and the likes, so I've organised these three documentaries by their "squeamish rating". I believe these three  films do a great job in promoting plant-based diets, but they vary in their use of pathos, to put it simply. Vegucated is a documentary that follows a woman in her journey of supporting three omnivores in their six week "vegan challenge". Throughout the film, there are doctors and other professionals providing essential information about the benefits of a plant-based diet. This is probably the best documentary to start out with since it's not so in-your-face with the gruesome clips and photos (there are few clips throughout). But then again, clips like those are what have the biggest impact, which brings us to Food, Inc. and Earthlings. These two are probably the most well-known when it comes to documentaries exposing the truth of factory farming and human impact on animals. I think these two are best coupled, because Food, Inc. has more of a spotlight on the truths of the food industry (e.g. facts about high fructose corn syrup and GMO's), whilst Earthlings delves into the more emotional issues surrounding the roles animals play in humans' daily lives. If I'll be honest with you, Earthlings is pretty difficult to watch. It has gory and heart-breaking clips, and I honestly believe that if every person was required to watch this, we'd have a lot more vegans and vegetarians walking around. Sometimes discovering the truth isn't easy, but I do believe it is completely necessary. We as humans have a huge responsibility to this planet and the other earthlings on it, and currently I don't think we're doing such a great job. Have a different opinion? Check out these documentaries and get back to me.

These last two documentaries are what I call "come-along documentaries" in my head, and by that I mean that they're documentaries in which you follow the hosts' personal journeys. Many have probably heard of Super Size Me, since it had a lot of controversy surrounding it during its initial release. I remember in the 8th grade I signed up for this little "Superfoods and Nutrition" club organised by my english teacher. A few of our meetings consisted of us watching this movie, and I remember it having a huge impact on me. If I was asked to track back and figure out when was the moment in which my passion for nutrition developed, I'd have to say it was after finishing this movie. Fast forward a few years to me stumbling across Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead on Netflix, a fairly new vegetarian with an insatiable hunger for more information, you'd clearly be able to see that. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead follows Joe Cross on his extreme diet change. The results are hard to ignore, but I won't say much more than that - you've got to check it out for yourself (*sunshades emoji*).

SO, that's my little round-up of my favourite documentaries about the food industry. They are all a bit different, but seem to communicate the same idea: we all need to educate ourselves about the food industry, and the impacts we all have on our planet and the other creatures that share it with us. Sometimes facing the facts isn't easy, I'll admit it, but changing your lifestyle to one that makes you feel happier and healthier is absolutely amazing, and I promise you that there are more positives than negatives when it comes to realising the truths we've all done such a good job of ignoring.

Well I'll get off my soapbox now and let you have some time to check out these documentaries. Until next time, I'm sending you tons of love and positivity - toodles xoxo