There is a new documentary in the works, and it has certainly captured my attention. Executive produced by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, the film “Fed Up” explores the American obesity epidemic, specifically focusing on sugar. However, the film differentiates itself from other books, movies, television specials that focus on sugar in one big way: In addition to railing on sugar as the cause of obesity, “Fed Up” focuses on the fact that skinny is not a sign of healthy.
It’s about time.
I’m so glad that we are finally having a conversation around the fact that someone can thin but still have as much internal body fat as a morbidly obese person. In recent years, emerging research has shown that just because a person is skinny it does not mean that they are healthy. People of average weight can suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions once thought to be associated with only obese individuals. Weight may not be the driver behind this, but body fat that comes from foods loaded with sugar most certainly is, according to “Fed Up”.
The film attacks sugar pretty seriously, even referring to it as the “new tobacco,” and blaming the food industry and the government as the biggest pushers of the substance. Fed Up focuses on the importance of not blaming children for the fact that they are obese, but rather the marketing that has pushed our country into a sugar induced epidemic. (more…)
Eating like our ancestors, eating like a caveman, eating like hunter-gatherers – no matter how you phrase it, it all comes down to the same thing: the paleo diet.
The premise of the diet is to mimic the ancient humans. This is done by removing products of modern agriculture (wheat, legumes, and dairy). Instead, paleo dieters eat meals full of meat, nuts, and vegetables.
According to author Michael Pollan, however, that diet isn’t what our ancient ancestors would have eaten. On an episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, he said, “I don’t think we really understand…well the proportions in the ancient diet. Most people who tell you with great confidence that this is what our ancestors ate-I think they’re kind of blowing smoke.”
We asked Mary Hartley, R.D. what her take on the paleo diet was, and she agrees with Pollan. “Over the last several years, researchers have learned more about early hominid diets. Early hominids from forested areas ate the fruit and tree nuts, but ancients for the savanna ate the grasses and sedges that grew there. (Millions of years later, those grasses would become domesticated cereal crops).”
Holidays and events are generally focused around the food. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with this, the problem occurs when we choose the wrong foods on which to focus. Super Bowl is a prime example, known as the biggest eating day of the year. If you’ve made a resolution, this is your first real test and we want to help you pass with flying colors!
“Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself,” is a favorite quote by Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and Omnivore’s Dilemma. It suggests that it’s OK to eat the foods you love, but only when you prepare them yourself. This allows you to control the ingredients, reduce or remove the processed and chemical ingredients, and stay closer to the whole form of the foods.
Here are some favorite homemade junk food recipes that will no doubt be a hit at your Super Bowl party, or any other food-focused event you’re hosting!
Fake Fry. Anything breaded, battered and fried isn’t good for you, no matter how healthy the original form of the food (think sweet potatoes and chicken). Use Panko, Japanese bread crumbs, to coat chicken strips, zucchini, onion rings or even green beans. Dip in low-fat buttermilk or toss in a small amount of olive oil, roll in Panko, give a light mist of cooking spray and then bake. The food comes out super crunchy and much healthier! Try this Biggest Loser’s Winning Fried Chicken. (more…)
Tune in this Tuesday, February 1st, to The Oprah Show to see Oprah and 378 of her staff members try a vegan diet for one week. They won’t be eating any meat or other animal products for a whole week, while Oprah explores the meaning of eating animals.
Lisa Ling takes a trip to a beef processing plant, to take a close look at where our meat really comes from. Will her discoveries be reassuring or disgusting? To also help viewers understand the food industry, Oprah welcome back Michael Pollen, author and food expert.
Michael Pollan had his 64 rules for eating healthy and in recent weeks, 13 scientists who were appointed to an advisory committee released their new “food rules”. This early release of “rules” is not yet the final dietary guidelines for Americans, so now is our chance to have some influence by providing our feedback. Final dietary guidelines will become available at the end of 2010, so make sure to give your 2 cents in our comments section and we will work to roll these up and help steer our country to a healthier place.
1. Eat fewer calories. The average person needs to consume roughly 2,000 calories per day. Most don’t know what they should consume for their individual height and weight, let alone how much they are actually eating. To find out what your daily calorie consumption should be, visit: DIR Health Calculator. (more…)
Tune in this Wednesday, January 27, 2010 to The Oprah Show when food activist and writer, Michael Pollan, gives you the truth about where your food actually comes from.
From cereals to lunch meat and from bagged lettuce to a carton of eggs, before you grocery shop you have a listen to what food guru Pollan has to say about the foods that we normally don’t give a second thought to when we toss them into our grocery cart.
If you’re at all concerned about eating healthier and safer for you, your family and the planet, this is a tune-in you don’t want to miss. (more…)
Fresh, a movie that was produced in 2009, and similar to Food Inc., shines a light on the American food system. The spin that Fresh takes on, which I found refreshing, is the positive focus on what individuals are currently doing to transform what is at the moment a broken cycle. The movie confronts many issues that exist such as food contamination, environmental pollution, obesity, and affects on our natural resources.
Some of the highlights I have from the film are as follows:
Through industrialization we have lost 90% of our crop diversity as the majority now focuses on corn and soy beans
Of those crops, 70% are grown to feed farm animals, which should be noted are herbivores (eating grasses and herbs)
Back in the day animals roamed free on farms. Through industrialization, livestock has become big business and thousands of animals are now housed in tight quarters, commonly referred to as “Animal Cities”. (more…)
Food activist Michael Pollan has written many books that speak about our food industry, shining a light on America’s food system and on where our food comes from. These famous titles include “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”.
One of his latest ventures is adapting the Omnivore’s Dilemma for young readers, which is a great opportunity for children to learn at a young age the importance of eating healthy, but equally important for understanding where the food they are eating comes from. If we are going to help kids make better choices, we need to give them the information they need to make smart decisions. (more…)
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