“Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.”
This is the kind of stuff that makes me giddy with excitement (anyone else?), and as I hit ‘play’ on the trailer, I held my breath for a moment, hoping the film might do the subject justice. The trailer is both alarming and powerful, and I couldn’t wait to see the movie in theaters.
I finally set aside the time this past weekend – taking a much-needed break from home buying obligations and culinary nutrition homework – to see Fed Up in its entirety. It’s about ninety minutes long, which is perfect, and while it really only scratches the surface of the obesity epidemic and processed food/sugar overload, I think it’s well-suited to a general audience and will get the wheels turning.
Rather than re-cap the highlights in my typical fashion, I’ll direct you to the Fed Up website, because it does an excellent job of summarizing key facts, provides discussion materials and resources, some ways to take action, and a ten day no sugar challenge. They’ve made the information accessible and approachable.
I can remember way back during the summer before my junior year of college when I was working one of my several jobs at my university’s social work library, and I happened to pick up a copy of Fast Food Nation. I had never given much thought to what I was eating beyond calories and fat grams, or where my food was coming from, and I could not absorb the information in Fast Food Nation quickly enough.
All it takes is one book, one film, one blog post, one conversation with a friend, to create the tiniest of shifts in how we view the world, and just asking ourselves whether how we’re living is serving us and others is the beginning of changing for the better.
After the film, Aaron asked me what I had learned and I explained that I hadn’t really learned anything new factually because I do my best to immerse myself in food policy and nutrition already. He was a little disappointed and asked what the point was in seeing the movie. The point, I think, was to support something I believe in, but even more so, to share it.
This conversation made me think about advising someone who’s eating a standard American, junk food diet to read a book like The China Study right off the bat – it’s going to be too much, too dry, too scientific for most, and probably a turn-off. But sharing a film like Forks Over Knives might make them re-think what they’re eating, and then seek out more information. I believe Fed Up will accomplish that, and then maybe people who were previously uninterested in food policy or nutrition will read books like Salt Sugar Fat, and then maybe they’ll swap their soda for lemon water or ask whether their eggs are really from “free-range” hens…because all it takes is asking one question to set off a powerful chain reaction.
Did you have a turning point in how you think about food? If so, what was it for you?
P.S. The top photo is of my Deyhdration-Busting Pineapple Cucumber Mint Smoothie, a delicious way to satisfy a sweet craving and get in a big dose of greens.