FOODIE FAQs/ Reviews

“What the Health” Food Documentary Review

“What the Health” is a food documentary that straddles the line of alert and alarm.

There is a fine line between alert and alarm.  Food documentaries waver on that line.  A passionate plea to inform the public of information that one should be keenly aware of is frequently the basis of food documentaries.  Whether knowing the truth behind food sources to understanding the effects that micronutrients have on the human body, food documentaries are abundant.  The information presented runs the gamut from being informative to downright scary.  It is up to us as the discerning and educated public to extrapolate the information that is good, bad, and ugly from these documentaries.

Overall what we find is that most food documentaries are well-researched, bring in opposing viewpoints, and incorporate answers to the list of questions found below.  What we try to be cognizant of is that line between alert and alarm.  Recently we watched “What the Health.”  It is a documentary by directors Kip Andersen and Keegun Kuhn.  From food producer to pharma funding sources, to government nutrition guidelines, to some of the most well-known health organizations such as the American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, and Susan G. Komen Foundation, the web of who funds what and what information is promoted is astounding. Not to give away the plot, but watch the web (spider-type web) unfold of where the funding comes from to what information is promoted by the health organizations and the government.  The film promotes a plant based diet, which is and can be healthy, but for many may be too extreme.  By focusing on the term “moderation,” perhaps there is a happy medium that can be achieved without total elimination of one food group or another.

With a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or any other streaming service, there are many options for watching the plethora of existing documentaries. Think of the information presented as a buffet; there will be things you like, things you know, things that you think are gross, and things that you have never seen before. Choosing what the takeaways are is up to you. Similar to standing in front of the buffet table and deciding by answering subconscious questions on what to eat, we have our list of questions that we seek to have answered from the food documentaries:

  • Where is the food sourced from?
  • How is it processed or harvested?
  • How is the waste managed?
  • How is the food transported, stored, brought to market?
  • What is the nutritional value of the food?
  • What effect does the food have on the human body?
  • What is the toll of eating the food in excess?
  • What effect does the production of the food have on the environment?
  • How will this information affect how we eat and what we eat?

Confused? Confusing? Our takeaway is that the purpose and goal of the entanglement between health organizations, pharma, and government is to do just that. So, you are as perplexed as we are about what the right decision is regarding what you eat and where you source your food from, yes? Well, first and foremost, we firmly believe that food and one’s attitude towards eating are the most influential components of healthy living.  Taking food and health from conundrum to confluence is the hard task at hand.  Whether you shop at a large chain grocery store or a farmer’s market, ask yourself and ask your grocer-where is your food is coming from.  You have a right to know.   Eating well and healthfully takes time and research.  Take the time and you are on your path to a healthy lifestyle.  What if you really can heal yourself with what you eat? Isn’t your life worth it?

Popcorn optional.

What the Health Film There is a link to watch the film on Vimeo on the film’s website.

Amazon (paid version)

Netflix (free with subscription)

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