“Supersize Me” and “McLibel” – More Movies that Go Against the Grain

Many people like to read nutrition information that motivates them to eat better, but they also like to learn information through watching movies. As one client said to me, “Being able to both read information and watch it works really well together, helping to reinforce why we all need to ‘go against the grain’ with our diet for improved health.”

In my previous post, I wrote about “King Corn”, a documentary that explains how cheap corn ends up in most commercial American foods and plays a major role in our widespread and widening health problems. But two other documentary movies to watch are “SuperSize Me” and “McLibel”.

SuperSize Me“SuperSize Me” is about how eating fast food on a regular basis makes us fat and sick in more ways than one. (It is not just about supersized portions, as one of my clients thought!) Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock uses himself as a guinea pig in an experiment to eat McDonald’s fast food three times a day for thirty days to find out what will happen. The result is truly mind-blowing. He not only gains weight but develops what he calls “McStomachache, McGas, McGurgles” and a whole host of other health problems you have to see to believe. He also experiences the very strange phenomenon of feeling “addicted” to the very foods that are making him sick. He sees a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, a general practitioner, and a nutritionist, all of whom monitor his condition throughout the experiment and are astounded at how dramatically his health declines in just days and weeks of eating the fast food most Americans eat at least occasionally.

“SuperSize Me” gives viewers a clear understanding of how food can be our worst medicine or our best medicine, depending on what we eat. Take note: the detox diet that Spurlock was given to recover from the effects of his fast food diet was essentially a gluten-free diet rich in a lot of vegetables.

As a bonus on the DVD, there is also a good interview with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation. Schlosser explains that fast food is not cheap when you consider the health complications and costs to our society that come from eating it. Taking a night to watch “Supersize Me” and the bonus interview with Schlosser makes for a night well spent learning information you would have never heard through mainstream media.

McLibelAs you might guess, “McLibel” is also about McDonald’s – specifically, about McDonald’s suing an English gardener and postman for speaking out about the corporation, its food and its practices. In what became the longest trial in English legal history, the gardener and postman represented themselves against McDonald’s $19 million legal team. Over the course of many years, McDonald’s tried a variety of dirty tricks against them. But how the case ended took everyone by surprise, especially the British government.

The movie is a low-budget film and may start slowly for some. But it’s well worth watching through to the end. The film is a true David and Goliath story that makes you feel empowered and heartened that individual people can make a difference and help change the world. As with “Supersize Me,” the “McLibel” DVD comes with a bonus interview with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, who gives a lot of additional information.

If you are really serious about going against the grain to one extent or another with your diet, it’s a good idea to watch “King Corn,” “Supersize Me”, and “McLibel” within a week or two of each other. Together, they can give you a crash course that changes how you think about food. One of my Going Against the Grain Group members watched all three within a few weeks and found each of them informative and complementary to each other. After watching all of them, my Group member said: “All three of the movies were a great back-up for what I’ve been learning about nutrition through books and articles such as those you write, but I don’t get support for any other way. The movies are a great antidote to the advertising and information we’re exposed to on TV and in mainstream magazines and newspapers.”

So, take some time, kick back, and watch some movies to motivate you even more to go against the grain for your health!

© Copyright 2008 Melissa Diane Smith

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