I admit it. I was scared to watch it. I was afraid I would suddenly find revolting all the things that taste good. That depictions of inhumane treatment of cows, pigs and chickens would turn me against consuming animal protein. That I would be left with the powerless feeling of, "I know this is happening, but I can't do anything about it." But you know what? I watched it this week, and none of that happened. I actually walked away feeling enlightened and empowered. And good thing, because this girl likes a burger.
The film to which I'm referring is 'Food, Inc.' Many of you have probably seen it a time or two already since it's been out for six years. As I said, I've been reluctant to watch it, knowing it might force me to change, because as Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better.' And how might doing better disrupt the diet with which I've grown accustomed? I shuddered at the thought.
This probably seems counterintuitive that I would respond this way, but food is a highly personal thing, and I like what I like. Here's the good news: I like healthy stuff. That wasn't always the case. But as I've become educated over the years on the power of what we eat, particularly as it relates to our performance, I already (mostly) eat clean, lean and green. And the difference in how you feel, look and function when you eat what your body needs is nothing short of significant.
But even if our dietary intentions are pure, how are we to avoid the deceptive practices of food producers pointed out in the documentary? Ideally, we'd grow our own produce, buy meats from a local farmer, knead our own bread (check out this easy einkorn bread recipe on my 'Favorite Recipes' page), and make all meals from scratch. Yeah, um, not happening, at least not all of them at once. One guy in the documentary drove five hours to purchase meat from a featured farmer. More power (and fuel) to him, but I prefer quick, close and cheap!
The most meaningful takeaway for me in the film came, appropriately, at the end. The guy who runs Stonyfield Organic, which is now owned by multinational food giant Danone (its line of YoKids yogurt is in my fridge as I type this), reminded viewers that every time we purchase a product, we're casting a vote. That vote determines what continues to be supplied in stores, or what gets discontinued. At the end of the day, food stores just want to carry what sells. It means little to them if it's healthy or unhealthy.
So the next time you're at the grocery store and about to place an item in your basket, ask yourself, 'What am I voting for, and how does this impact my health?'
More on how to choose healthier options at discount grocers in an upcoming blog!
1. Tap Squats 20x (With a stable surface, such as a chair or bench, behind you, lower your backside to the surface without releasing your body weight, then immediately rise to standing)
2. Up-Down Plank 10x (Start in a high plank on your hands and toes. Drop down to your elbows, then rise to your hands again. The pattern is 'elbow-elbow-hand-hand,' or 'down-down-up-up'. Perform on your knees to reduce the challenge.)
REPEAT 3 times!
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Molly is a wife, mom,
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.