Food Choices – Examining the World’s Diet

I recently watched a Netflix documentary titled Food Choices, examining “the world’s diet and points to food choices as the culprits for declining health as a well as a major cause of climate change.”

For three years, filmmaker Michal Siewierski travelled the world to uncover the truth about our food choices, including the most appropriate diets for our health, and the health of future generations.

The movie addresses a number of issues ranging from human health and factory farming to global climate change and depleting fish populations, here are some of the items I thought could be useful for busy adults.

Mother Nature’s Best

The underlying theme and call-to-action in the documentary is to limit eating processed, unhealthy foods, and try transitioning to a healthier eating lifestyle, consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – in other words, a plant-based diet.

One of the most common misconceptions is that whole foods and a plant-based diet are very expensive; however, purchasing select produce and whole grains in bulk, on sale, or in season can be inexpensive. The movie also refutes common beliefs and fad diets, which claim that carbs are the cause of ill-health and obesity.

Furthermore, the experts suggest that the potential negative impact of pesticides on plant-based foods do not outweigh the nutritional value they provide. Fear of pesticides should not affect the amount of fruits and vegetables we consume.

Animal Protein

The experts claim that the amount of animal protein we eat contributes to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and clogged arteries. While much of the conversation is focused on red meat – beef and pork – the experts agree that all meats – red meat and white meat (poultry and fish) – can have a negative impact on our health. This is contrary to popular belief that fish or chicken is actually better for you.

A Not So Dairy Delight

Did you know that humans are the only species that consumes another species’ milk? And, we’re the only species that consumes milk into adulthood! I don’t drink milk and I would highly recommend making the switch to plant-based milk (I personally love Silk)! Our entire belief system around human growth and development goes hand-in-hand with milk consumption, but according to the movie, that’s not entirely correct.

One expert referred to milk as “liquid meat,” and in fact, dairy products like milk, eggs and cheese may lead to similar issues as those surrounding red meat consumption.

Disease Prevention Through Diet

Siewierski and many of the experts suggest that we need a shift in the conversation to disease prevention through education and diet. If we reallocate funds, and educate consumers more about plant-based diets, we could eventually reduce the high cost of healthcare. This will be important. As it stands today, 51 per cent of the US population is expected to be obese by 2030. This will have a significant impact on the healthcare system and resources.

I’m a vegetarian and I try to eat as many plant-based meals as possible.  I’ll certainly consider the information in this documentary, and continue to make more conscious decisions about what’s on my plate.

For more information about the movie, visit www.foodchoicesmovie.com.

Let me know in the comments below if you have watched this documentary.  What did you think?

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