Fed Up

Rated: PG

        I want to tell you about one of the best documentaries of 2014 (I think) Fed Up. (This film has a different focus than the 2002 documentary of the same name. That one focuses specifically on genetically modified foods and is still well worth seeing.) At this point in time there are a multitude of documentaries out there that try to tackle (or at least shed light on) why so many Americans are overweight and obese. Food Inc, King Corn, Super Size Me, Food Fight, Farmageddon and many more all address the issue, albeit all in different ways (which makes it totally relevant to see all of them, even though some of them touch on many of the same points).
         I’ve been interested in the “food wars” for many years now. It started when I began culinary school 11 years ago, which initially pointed me in the general direction of “where does this food come from?” The next step in the food progression for me came when I was taking my required nutrition classes. My husband had been having major digestive issues for a while, when finally, one night, he way over did it. We had no idea what the actual problem was at the time, but now know that he went into mild anaphylactic shock. Many months later the results of some allergy tests came back as positive for gluten, dairy, soy and egg allergies. From then on I made it my mission to find out why he developed these allergies so late in life and what, if anything, we could do about them. Since then I’ve spent countless hours doing research and educating myself as much as possible about nutrition, food allergies and intolerances and the various healthy and unhealthy methods of agriculture, not to mention the myriad of other issues that go along with all of that. With all of this knowledge I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an expert, since the only degree I have is in culinary arts, but I certainly know more than most when it comes to nutrition, allergies and food.
Fed Up specifically looks at what typical Americans eat and drink, and how the food industry works so hard to deceive people into believing #1: that the foods that they have to offer are healthy and nutritious, and #2: that those foods are cheaper than truly healthy options, such as farm fresh produce. The documentary features interviews with Bill Clinton, Marion Nestle, Gary Taubes and many more experts who explain in great detail how we’ve all been deceived by the food industry into thinking that fat is evil. The real problem, at this point, is that we’ve been taught that fat is evil for the past 50 years and it’s now so embedded into the minds of everyone that even doctors and registered dietitians, the ones who should know better, agree with this way of thinking, despite the fact that evidence to the contrary has been there all along. Getting people to change this mindset and believe in the science is an uphill battle and one that, although I hope will be embraced sooner, will most likely take over a generation to catch on.

          As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I could go on and on as far as this topic goes, but I’ll restrain myself. The most important thing is that you see this film because, although it may not totally change your mind or what you eat, at the very least it will get you talking and thinking more about this oh so important matter of our national health.

Fed Up is rated PG, was written and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, was narrated and investigated by Katie Couric and stars Bill Clinton, Gary Taubes, Marion Nestle and more. Its available now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.