Understanding Food Through Documentaries

I have been listening to some documentaries while working and I feel like there should be a documentary that focuses on the media’s influence on eating and food choices as well as the quality of food that exists today. I’m concerned that most documentaries and diets overlook the societal issues and current food quality thus creating a false narrative.

Imagine a documentary that analyzes the current amount of nutrients and vitamins and health factors in different foods and compares that to historical data, as well as looking for unhealthy factors in foods like lead and pesticides and other concerns. Maybe it could also be fair and talk about human evolution and how food companies play on different factors that are more likely to get us to consume their products. 

I often feel like I don’t have any good choices. I can find documentaries and videos about the positive effects of any diet as well as documentaries and videos about the negative effects of any diet. With this wealth of information, often times with people having a specific agenda (I see you Keto and Vegan people as well as you dairy lobbyists!), it becomes hard to make a decision regarding what is best which causes me stress, frustration and apathy. 

I sometimes feel like if there is no good choice then I might as well eat whatever I want. Or I’m tired from a busy day, I don’t feel like cooking, ready-made meals at grocery stores are all too processed so I’ve failed at nutrition and let’s have McDonald’s.

I recently watched a documentary that focused on whole food, plant-based eating and was intrigued. I don’t know that I could ever completely give up meat or dairy, but I’m open to trying to eat healthier. At first the documentary seemed to be going in a direction that I could get behind. It covered why a growing number of people are obese, even starting to talk about how our brains, stomachs and hormone systems work. Then it felt like they threw all of that away, never touched it again and moved on. Around the mid-point of the documentary, one of the people they were interviewing basically gave a short spiel about how eating healthy is like opening a combination lock to a box full of money, and if you don’t eat completely healthy, you don’t get some of the money within the box.

Anyways, after watching the documentary, I did some research on eating a whole food, plant-based diet only to find information countering many of the things said in the documentary, such as issues with pesticides causing negative health effects as well as a decrease in the nutrition available in much of the produce available in North American grocery stores today. There were people pointing out that some of the “experts” in the documentary lacked a depth of knowledge, were themselves backed by or financially incentivized to promote this diet or were cherry-picking studies to prove their preconceived point.

Add to that the feeling of increased cost, whether that point is legitimate or not, a personal feeling of rapid spoiling of fresh produce creating a waste of food and money, and a busy daily schedule, it becomes hard to find the time, money, and willpower to make better food choices. That is if we can even figure out what better food choices really are beyond reducing consumption of processed foods, something most documentaries seem to agree on.

In the end, maybe then this imaginary documentary could give some advice on avoiding some of the tricks that companies play, provide insight into how to bolster our willpower when it comes to our food choices, as well as providing some advice on how to get access to reasonably priced food that will benefit your health. Can someone put that together, please?

2 responses to “Understanding Food Through Documentaries”

  1. The last 50 years has been a constant source of conflicting and frustrating info on diet. There are no easy answers but I do think we really need to educate everyone about the ‘crap’ that is being advertised as healthy and the risks of a diet based on convenience foods. Example…chocolate cookies with artificial vanilla icing are NOT healthy after school snacks, even though they are advertised that way! 😁❤

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