Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

Eye-Opening Food Documentaries

I don’t know about you, but I love documentaries.  And I love Netflix for having a lot of documentaries to choose from.  I watched two last night.  And all I can say is WOW!  Very interesting … and I highly recommend them.  If you have Netflix, please add these two shows to your queue:

Frankensteer, 2005 (45 minutes)

Warning:  It’s truly disturbing.  If you have a hamburger addiction, you may not want to watch this.  But perhaps you should!!  Oh, and don’t watch it while you are trying to eat or else you WILL lose your dinner!!  Even though it’s actually about the Canadian beef industry, I’m sure every bit of that could easily apply to America just the same.  It makes you wonder where your beef really comes from.  And what is in the beef you eat?  How do you know you’re not eating a mixture of growth hormones and antibiotics along with the beef???  Grass-fed beef may be more expensive, but it’s so worth it!!

Ingredients, 2008 (76 minutes)

This documentary promotes the local food movement and showcases a rise of the CSA.  It’s wonderfully inspiring.  Support your local farmers and eat locally grown produce!  I already loved shopping at my local farmer’s market, but this just seals it for me.  Farmers are a dying breed.  The US census doesn’t even list ‘farmer’ as a profession anymore.  They are classified as ‘other’.  How sad is that?!?

And of course, if you haven’t seen Food, Inc  yet (also on Netflix), it’s at the top of my list of inspiring documentaries.  As well as Weight of the Nation!!  So if you just happen to be bored on this Saturday night, I’ve just given you something to do!  🙂

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Why Count Carbs?

You may have read in my previous post that I started a Challenge yesterday, ’70 Carbs In 70 Days’, and you may be wondering why we are only counting carbs, not calories.  The reason is carbs are what makes us fat.  And give us high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, the list goes on and on. What’s that?  You thought fat made us fat?  Nope!!  It’s all been a big lie.
Read this article by Gary Taubes in the NY Times.  Or this one that was written 10 years ago. Need more?  Read this.
If you haven’t seen Weight of the Nation yet, you need to!  It’s absolutely infuriating.  Almost 70% of the nation is either overweight or obese.  Why?  Well first let’s look at the USDA Food Pyramid where they suggest the majority of your diet come from grains.  6-11 servings a day??  That’s sure to make anyone overweight!

Then let’s look at the farm bill where the government subsidizes corn farmers only. If you grow fruits or vegetables, you do not get a subsidy. Did you know less than 2% of the farm land in this country produces fruits and veggies.

Now let’s take a look at the prices of healthy food vs processed crap. Yeah, it’s expensive to eat healthy.  A lesson in Economics 101 teaches  supply vs demand.  If we can increase the supply of fruits and vegetables grown in this country, the price goes down.  Just look how cheap corn is, or rather, its by product – high fructose corn syrup.  It’s the cheapest sweetener you can use, and it’s found in everything from juice to crackers to ice cream.  And it has majorly contributed to the weight of the nation.  (Now they call it “corn sugar” and they claim it’s no different.  Bull.  Studies have been done proving how much more detrimental HFCS is than regular sugar. )

I could really argue about this all day long.  It infuriates me to think that this government of ours, which is supposed to be “for the people” are the ones who are pushing us into this downward spiral.  Don’t even get me started on genetically modified foods and Monsanto and the FDA.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch Food, Inc. for starters.)

If you are just as enraged as I am about all of this, join Food & Water Watch.  They have several campaigns, including one for a Fair Farm Bill.  And there are plenty of ways on their website that you can take action, either by signing a petition or emailing your State representatives.  There are so many issues at hand – keeping antibiotics out of our meat, the farm bill, keeping our water clean, and the list goes on and on.

Going back to the reason for this post.  Processed foods make us fat.  What’s in all that processed food?  Carbs.  At the very root of the issue, as a nation we need to eat more fruits and vegetables.  But we need the government’s help to make sure it is available to us, without being genetically modified or full of pesticides.

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You MUST watch this documentary!

I just finished watching the last part of a 4-part series called Weight of the Nation.
You can view it online for free here:   http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com

You can’t help but be outraged after watching it.  This country is in crisis.  Have you seen these charts produced by the CDC showing the percentages of obesity by states over the last few decades?  It’s startling.  (I would post them here, but I can’t copy and paste the charts so I’ll give you the link to watch the slideshow)  http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

Why is America so fat??  There are many contributing factors, but it really boils down to the fact that we aren’t moving our bodies as much as we used to, or as much as we should be.  Kids are watching TV and playing video games instead of riding their bikes and playing outside.

And did you know that less than 2% of the farmland in the US grows fruits and vegetables.  That’s because the government gives a subsidy to those farmers who grow corn, but nothing to those who grow fruits and vegetables.  That corn is then used to make high fructose corn syrup, which is the cheapest type of sugar that companies can put into their pre-packaged foods.  Those large food manufacturers do not care about your health, they only care about their profits.

And if you really want to be outraged, watch the movie Food, Inc.  about how food is produced, and how the FDA and USDA control the food industry.  You can read more here:  http://www.takepart.com/foodinc/film.

I hope it motivates you to take a look at your diet and see what processed foods you can replace with organically grown fruits and vegetables.

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