I finally got around to watching “Food Matters” the other day (while riding my stationary bike on a day that was far too rainy and cold to go for a walk), and I’m officially suggesting that you watch it, too, if you haven’t already. (I got my copy from the library, and I know Netflix has it.)
The film lightly pushes a raw food style of eating, which might have annoyed me if not for the qualifying statement (spoken near the end), that people don’t have to be a raw foodist, vegan or vegetarian to be healthier, but that everyone should try to make a large portion of their diet out of uncooked, plant-based food (i.e., fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds). That I do agree with.
The filmmakers takes a firm stand that the road to health is through nutrition and prevention of disease, not through the use of prescription drugs to manage disease. This I also firmly agree with. The film takes on the big drug companies, which feels particularly timely given the recent reports that:
- In many cases, antidepressant drugs may be no more effective than placebos.
- There are a whole lotta doctors on the payroll of Big Pharma.
- The FDA has seized a bunch of unapproved and adulterated new drugs from a New Jersey lab.
- A huge drug company just paid a huge legal settlement for selling drugs with questionable safety and/or effectiveness.
Now, I’m not suggesting that all medications are bad. I do suggest that too many people expect medication to save them from themselves. One of my fondest wishes is that more people would make it a priority to eat healthfully and include enough physical activity in their days that they avoid diseases like diabetes and heart disease altogether. Sadly, what often happens is that people neglect their bodies, falling back on the notion that drugs will take care of any problems down the road. Guess what? Once you have one of these diseases, your body is damaged, even if you “manage” the disease with medication. Prevention rules!
There are arguments made about the dangers of cooked foods, and the values of large doses of certain nutrients, that I want to check out for myself. There is so much conflicing information floating around about these two topics, and I try to be a critical thinker and not take anything as gospel.
At the minimum, “Food Matters” reminded me that I need to ramp up my intake of fresh fruits and veggies. This time of year, it’s easy to drift into eating more cooked foods, and I’m no exception. Coincidentally, I had also checked out a few raw food (un)cookbooks from the library, mostly to get some new ideas for smoothies, salads and uncooked breakfasts (like muesli concoctions). I’m sure I’ll be testing and sharing some of what I find!
[Side note: One of these (un)cookbooks, by the young, pretty chef/owner of a raw food restaurant in NYC, included a photo of her smoking. “Really?” I thought. “You choose a way of eating that you say promotes optimum health and then you smoke?” Interesting, since quitting smoking (or not smoking to begin with) is very likely the best thing a person can do for their health!]