Tuesday, January 29, 2013

They Put WHAT? In My Food?


Recently, I started watching a few food documentaries to help motivate me into change and healthier eating.

My goodness people, if you want to watch something to make you look at a different perspective, these food documentaries are the ticket.

Now, I do watch them with the mindset that they are American based and things in Canada are probably a bit different, but not a whole lot.  I also keep in mind that documentaries is a visual display of someones opinion.

The first one I watched was:

Join the world's leading experts in Nutrition and Natural Medicine in this inspiring new film about taking your health into your own hands. Learn how you can boost your energy levels, keep excess weight at bay and transform your health through food.

This one made me question the additives in the foods and make me want to start trying veggies and juicing.

Did you know one of the additive ingredients they put in blueberry muffins is also an ingredient used to winterize RV's and for colonoscopies?

The next one I watched and the one that put the nail in the coffin for fast food for me (for a while at least) was this one:

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli--the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising--and often shocking truths--about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here

I watched a lot of this one on the treadmill and at one point, they seems to just jump to this man from a company that was saying about how they learned that ammonia is a great way to kill the e-coli bacteria.  My first thought was "oh God, don't tell me they wash all of their ground beef in ammonia first before they package it for resale?"  Nope, not quite...they were talking about the filler sold to fast food restaurants for their hamburgers.  It's made me think twice about everything in my house and the desire to want to buy more natural processed foods.  That means, Farmer's Markets and local growers.  Finding out if the chickens are free range and are the cows grass fed or corn fed?  I'm so lucky.  Where we live is in the heart of the country  and there are many farmers selling their products.  We also have a local program called "Kawartha's Choice" and it is a collection of local farmer's that sell their products and where you can get them.

I have to cycle through the meat in the freezer first and eat it, even though it made me cringe.  The documentary talked about when you buy a chicken that is commercially produced and packaged, aside from all of the growth hormones used to speed up the growth of the chicken, they all get a chlorine bath before packaging.  So, all I could think about while preparing our dinner on Sunday was that.  ICK!

The last one I watched is an older one and it didn't have that big of an impact, but it was one of the "first" food documentaries, so I wanted to take it in too:

Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock's film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003 during which he ate only McDonald's food. The film documents this lifestyle's drastic effect on Spurlock's physical and psychological well-being, and explores the fast food industry's corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit.

I never watched this one when it first came out, because I didn't understand it.  Common sense would say that if you ate at McDonald's 3 times a day for a whole month, there would be negative side effects.  And there were.  Watch it, you will be surprised by the results...I was.

One part of it that saddened me was they were at a school and Jared, the Subway guy, was there talking to the kids.  Afterwards, they talk to an overweight girl who is about 14 and her mom.  They talk about what an inspiration he is and that she wishes she could do that, but just can't afford to eat at Subway everyday like Jared.  I honestly yelled at the screen.   Either she didn't get the message or it wasn't portrayed properly.  It wasn't because of Subway that Jared lost the weight.  He ate foods that were lower in fat and walked to the restaurant everyday.  It can be done in everyday life, no special diets or gimmicks needed. 

Speaking of Subway.  I will no longer eat there either.  But it's not documentary related.  A few months ago, a woman posted on one of the facebook groups I belong to that her son just a rib sandwich from Subway and while eating it found a molar in it.  I don't know that it's true, I didn't later hear about it in the news, 'cause if it was me, I would have plastered that all over the headlines, but still did enough damage to me.  More recently, there is another Subway story from a local store in Peterborough.  A girl of 3 got a sandwich and it had glass in it.  Between teeth and glass, I think I will stay away from it.

So there you go.  My thoughts....be your own investigator and make your own choices, but for now, I am off of fast food joints and plan to buy local and organic.


  1. The greatest movie ever sold has some interesting food things in it. Done by same guy who did super size me. Love his documentaries!

  2. Wow! I know there is some crazy things they put in food now a days! I saw supersize me as well and made me sick to my stomache

  3. Those certainly are an eye-opener. I have only seem one of the three you mentioned but will probably look into the other two some point soon. One of the biggest things to remember is something you mentioned: it's the filmmaker's opinion, highly backed by money who supports the same message.
    I'm glad you're looking at the food you and your family eat! While my family and I can't afford "organic", we do look for lean meats and less-processed food.
    Today I realized that since I no longer buy chips, chocolate, ice cream, or other not healthy snacks I was needing something sweet... so I made applesauce and strawberry-banana sorbet! YUMMMM!!