After my recent post encouraging people to watch Hungry For Change, a comment was left on my blog.
When I went to reply, my word count and hyperlinks got out of control and I realized it was no longer a comment but another post–though I’ve preserved my stream-of- consciousness, conversational style.
First, here is the comment from David:
Hmm, well I was onboard until I saw in the trailer they were promoting people like Joseph Mercola and, worse, Mike Adams, who haven’t met a piece of health BS they don’t like as long as it bashes the mainstream.
Normally I wouldn’t even bother watching a film that promotes those two, but on your recommendation I’ll give it a go!
And now, for my response:
Yeah, Joseph Mercola has said some off-the-wall stuff over the years, so my antenna was up when he talked in the film.
He lives in this area, so Chicago Magazine did a fair and balanced article on Joseph Mercola, asking if he was a quack or a visionary.
I found him to be pretty tame (or maybe the filmmakers edited him well) in this movie.
His comment about us redefining what “sugar” is, I think was helpful. Most people don’t know why spikes in your insulin level is something to be concerned about, and that other foods such as rice, pastas, pancakes, waffles, breads, can cause such spikes.
And I appreciated that he mentioned the fact that many “studies” that are done, are actually being funded by the food manufacturers, so you have to take what they say with a grain of salt, even if the FDA doesn’t.
Or at least we should look at a study’s scientific protocol to evaluate its validity. As you know, double-blind placebo-controlled studies, which are peer-reviewed, are the best, though very costly.
Yes, sometimes the interviewees use hyperbolic language, and a couple times I thought, “Hmm, I need to research that claim.” (I didn’t know Mike Adams before this movie. He was the one talking about MSG making mice fat, which I don’t think is true. It’s not the substance that makes you fat; it’s that it’s a flavor enhancer and it makes you want to eat more, and overeating makes you fat.)
But overall, I think the filmmakers did a good job, and didn’t go overboard, as they could have trying to turn their viewers into raw foods, juicing, organic vegans. (Not that there’s anything wrong with raw foods, juicing, organic vegans.)
I think the filmmakers were sensitive to their audience. They meet them where they are at, and are looking to get them to be more conscious about what they are putting into their bodies as well as the effect of those decisions.
I don’t know how it is on your side of the world, but here in America our food is…well, as one expert says in Hungry For Change, “We are not eating food anymore, we are eating food-like products.”
A good start to better health is ridding ourselves of processed foods. Or, at the very least, I hope more people become curious enough to read labels of ingredients, not just what the marketers write on the front of the box.
As Mike Adams accurately pointed out that there are many processed foods, using General Mills’ Total Blueberry and Pomegranate Cereal as an example, that what they show on the front of the box is not always an accurate representation of what’s in the box (Note: I looked it up and, in fact, this aforementioned cereal contains neither blueberries nor pomegranate).
But, as the consumers get educated, the food folks do get trickier, and just rename something that starts to get a bad rap. So although 80% of our processed foods have MSG in them, most people don’t know it because MSG is now being called by other terms.
All that to say, just like I had to wake up to the hard cold reality that big banks are not my friends and they are in business to make money, I had to learn the same about food manufacturers.
For another eye-opening movie about the food industry here in North America, particularly our animal agriculture, I recommend Food, Inc. It really is disturbing what can legally be done to the food supply in this country.