Monday, February 8, 2010

Documentaries will be the Death of Me.

I really like documentaries. I like the way they make me think. I like the way they expose the truth. I like seeing real people tell their stories.

I think the first documentary that was the death of me was "Super Size Me". In this documentary, a guy eats only McDonald's three times a day for a month. In the end, his health is deteriorating, he is depressed, and he gained an obscene amount of weight. I learned a lot about the chemical preparation of their food process as well as their marketing schemes. And, as a result, I only eat at McDonald's if my options are severely limited.

Like in a foreign country.

No, not really, I have eaten at McDonald's a number of times since watching the film, but I definitely consider homemade food over fast food. I really hate fast food in general. I don't like eating it. I feel gross when I do. I didn't use to feel that way, but now that I know what is in it and how it is processed, it makes me feel NASTY.

Another documentary that I watched was "Paper Clips". It was so inspiring. It's about a small school in Kentucky (I think) that began a holocaust project by collecting a paper clip for each Jew that was exterminated in the Holocaust. Secondary students organized the project and found Holocaust survivors who came to tell their stories as part of the project. A rail car was obtained as part of a memorial and filled with the paperclips, symbolizing the Jews who were transported like cattle to the concentration camps.

I loved that film because it was inspiring. It helped a community look beyond itself. It makes you want to do the same.

Last year, I watched "The Business of Being Born" by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. I watched it in preparation for my own natural childbirth with Lucy. This film is so informative and empowering. I encourage all women to watch it whether pregnant or not. I learned a lot about the profession of midwifery as well as an often flawed hospital system. My husband is a physician, and he couldn't argue with the film. He felt like it was really well done. My friend's husband is an OB/GYN, and he felt similarly.

Last night, we watched "Food, Inc.". It is about the food manufacturing in the US. It was astonishing. It was disgusting. It shocked me. And now, I want to buy local, organic food. ONLY. It may not be possible to go all the way with this where I live, but I sure want to give it a try. This woman in the film lost her two-year old son to hemorrhagic E. coli in 12 days from contaminated hamburger meat that tested positive for E. coli but wasn't recalled until a month after the positive test. Heart-wrenching. Makes me want to go completely vegetarian!!!! I like meat, and I think I could give it up, but I know Dave wouldn't. But still.

These films have changed the way I've looked at how fast food is destroying the health in this country, how my culture views history, how well-designed the female body is for childbirth, and how the food I serve came to be. They've been informative, but they also were convicting. Now that I have this information, what am I going to do with it?

Am I going to DIE to convenience and embrace a simpler but more hard-working lifestyle?

Am I going to DIE to my culture and look outside of myself?

Am I going to DIE to insurance companies, health systems and embrace the design of my body?

Am I going to DIE to the dollar and support those who work hard to respect workers, animals and the planet?

I want to. I don't know if I will. I want to do what I can. With greater knowledge comes greater responsibility.

Get my coffin ready.


  1. I've been wanting to see Food Inc. I saw the one about mcD and it really made me think about eating fast food. Not that we do that a whole lot anyway, can't afford to. We eat less red meat and have fish twice a week and I try to fix a meatless meal once a week. Doesn't always work that way, but I do have a plan! :) A book that I also like is The NDD Book, by Dr Sears. I also love the sneaky chef series of books. GREAT help in getting veggies into my kids.

  2. Wow. When I saw the title of your entry today I wondered if you had seen "Food, Inc." I will be seeing it soon, but have already discovered the evils of the food industry through other means. Truth hurts, doesn't it? Yikes.

    We are still eating meat (grass-fed) because it has vitamins and minerals you just can't get any other way. I can give you some great blogs to check out when you want to get crazy with it :).

    You should check out the Arkansas Sustainability Network at It's awesome.

  3. Well said. At least we only drink locally-grown tap water.

  4. I wish I could afford to buy only's scary the things we put in our bodies. My aunt has an alkaline water machine and has been sharing with us, which is a HUGE blessing, but I'm still working on the food!

  5. Put Food Inc on top of my blockbuster list a week or so ago. Can't wait to watch it. The guy who helped with the film has many books out about healthy eating...all requested from the Library! Who said education was over after college! This past few months I've given myself a serious food education and am working very hard to feed myself and my family better. No fast food (unless absolutely necessary) very little processed food. More organics, more green and raw, less red meat, less meat pumped with hormones and steroids and antibiotics!!!!! Seriously! I had no idea what we were eating before and I considered myself pretty healthy! can only get better with education!

  6. can totally afford to buy organic if you shop at Costco! A lot of their produce gives you organic at great prices AND their chicken is non steroid/hormone. Don't think their red meat is the same though, still searching for alternatives here! And really people say, "I can't afford it BUT....if you are cutting out soda, chips, cookies etc, you can afford it! Those are SO expensive compared to what you make at home!! Just stop buying them and buy healthy! Our food bill has not gone up!
    Sorry...just working out the kinks in our family's health and I'm SUPER excited about this....can ya tell???


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