We recently have welcomed Netflix into our household. At first, I was apprehensive. Another reason for my family to sit on their butts and watch TV all day? Great.
Let me rewind before I get ahead of myself.
My 22nd birthday was wonderful, filled with my family that I love so much, and my two favorite people who are not family, but I love just as much: Megan and Stephen.
History repeats itself, and for the 4th year in a row, my birthday commenced with beer, beer, a shot or two, and then some more beer.
Needless to say, I had a great time. Also, needless to say, I spent yesterday suffering from a terrible hangover.
I really didn’t drink that much- I just really think that my body is not used to that amount of alcohol anymore, an amount in which would not have left me that debilitated with a hangover. I honestly think it’s because two years ago, I went snowboarding on my birthday and ended up with a concussion. Before I knew that I was concussed, I drank. Ever since then, whenever I have a hangover, my brain literally feels like I have a concussion. I only drink to the point of having a hangover a few times a year. It could be really easy for me to bullshit myself and say “I WILL NEVER DRINK AGAIN!” in some profound, condescending tone of voice- but it will be far, far, far from the truth. What my goal is then, is to not drink to the point of a hangover. This will require being extremely mindful while drinking, and once you’re beginning to get intoxicated, this becomes harder and harder to do- but not wasting a day with a hangover is something that I would like to do. Regardless of the fact, I had a wonderful birthday and wouldn’t change a thing. =)
Now, yesterday, due to my hangover, I spent the day on the couch…with Netflix! I was able to spend the entire morning educating myself, which is the positive side to being sidelined for a day!
After scrolling through hundreds of movies, I landed on Food Inc., Forks Over Knives, and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
I had heard countless things about Food Inc. but had never gotten around to actually watching it to form my own opinion.
Something that I knew I needed to keep in mind, is that no matter what you’re watching, you have to understand and be aware of the fact that whoever is giving you their information is biased in their own way. The point of Food Inc. (something that I knew from the get-go) is that their goal was to get you to change the way you eat. It is meant to be a persuasive film in which different tactics are used in order to persuade you. However, that does not go to say that any of the information is false.
With that being said, I dove in.
What I took away from Food Inc:
- We, as consumers, are “forced” into buying certain types of foods, with certain ingredients, and made to believe that they are the best, as well as the only option. I agree with that whole-heartedly…which brings me to point 2:
- Corn. It’s cheap and it’s easy and it’s taking over everything that we eat- in ways that you’re not even really aware of.
Almost all of our animal products (meat from ANY animal, eggs, milk, and other dairy products) are fed corn. Farm animals are not biologically designed to eat corn. They are supposed to eat grain. Corn, however, bulks these animals up quickly so that farmers can produce larger animals that produce more meat in a short period of time. Think of corn to these animals as steroids. The animals are unhappy and sick. I will spare you the details of the gory look inside of these animal factories and the method of their slaughter.
- More corn. Things like chips, soda, cookies, whatever junk food- you name it- is made with corn products. High Fructose Corn Syrup, etc. Why is junk food SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than whole foods like vegetables? Because it’s mass made with the corn that farmers are practically forced to grow. Junk food is made cheap on purpose- and it’s horrifying and sad.
- Buy your produce locally (if you can, when you can!), buy only in-season fruits and veggies. Grow your own garden, even a small one! <—my goal for once I graduate!
- If you’re going to buy eggs, or meat, or fish- make sure that they are grain fed, and free-range, cage-free animals. This is probably the most important thing I learned from the movie. I appreciated that the movie was NOT “GO VEGAN!!!!!” only. It also gave you options, healthy, environmentally sustainable options that will fit into your lifestyle for YOUR benefit, as well as the benefit of the ENVIRONMENT, and the animals.
- Fish, if bought, should be wild-caught, as there are fish farms as well in which the fish are fed corn (so weird) and living in unsuitable environments, swimming on top of each other in cramped pools.
Then, I watched Forks Over Knives.
This movie was more designed to try and encourage you to eat a vegan-based diet, or as they called it “whole-foods, plant-based diet.” The film was so interesting, but then again- I basically go to school for this stuff- so I’m biased. I thought it was fascinating and I believe every word that they said. Their main claim was that degenerative diseases can be controlled, some even reversed, if we discontinue eating animal-based products. There were numerous studies shown in the movie, one of which really stood out to me. One man in China started a study in which he called a Cancer-Map. He compiled decades and decades worth of data, and compiled color-coded maps based on location and type of cancer. To make a long story short, the regions in which people ate less meat had a significantly lower incidence of cancer- any type. This study was then made known to an American man who was also interested in the theory of animal-based products and our health, so the study was done in comparison between people in America and people in regions covering the rest of the world. Areas in which people did not consume animal products as a main source of nutrition (because of their region, access to such foods, etc) did not have as many cases of cancer and other diseases. The Japanese, for example, have a diet that consists MAINLY of rice and vegetables- they also live the longest.
They showed a man who was taking 9 pills and 2 injections a day for his heart and diabetes. After 12 weeks of eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, he was “cured” of his ailments. They showed a women who recovered from breast cancer and was well into her 70’s and still doing triathlons and ate nothing but a whole-foods, plant based diet.
If you think about where humans came from, who we evolved from, our food was not 80% meat- it was almost 100% plant based. There were no chemicals or additives, just food from the ground in its natural form. The meat we did eat did not have any hormones, chemicals, or any additives at all, and best of all, the animals we ate were free-roaming and ate what they were biologically meant to eat.
I feel that I have a few decisions to make…
but for now, this is to be continued!
Have a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!
Have you watched Food Inc or Forks Over Knives? What do you think?