I recently watched the documentary Hungry For Change. You can find it here free online until March 31st. I am all about food documentaries. I think when I first saw Food, Inc. I knew my eating habits were going to change. And they have…a lot.
I thought that I had probably seen all the food documentaries I needed to. Food, Inc., Forks Over Knives, Super Size Me, Foodmatters, I have seen them all, and probably another half a dozen as well. But, Hungry For Change was different. Instead of addressing only the types of food we eat, it addressed the nutrients in the food, the chemicals that food processors put in the foods.
There were several new bits of information that I learned from this documentary. One of the things that I probably should have known but didn’t, was the different names that MSG comes under. Did you know that the government allows MSG and free glutamates to be labeled as 50 different names? I mean, when I look to see if something has MSG in it, I am looking for monosodium glutamate. Isn’t that what you would look for? At this point in my life I try to not eat anything that has ingredients I can’t pronounce, or foods I wouldn’t actually recognize growing in a garden or on a farm somewhere. But, my first time being pregnant, well I was only looking for specific ingredients, like MSG. I had no idea that MSG and free glutamates were used to enhance flavor in 80% of processed food. What?!
Another part of this movie mentioned the book What the World Eats. I had heard about this book a while back, but never read it. So, of course I checked it out of the library immediately. Talk about a total slap in the face. To think of the struggles that I have in making sure I have nutritious, healthy food for my family. Being concerned about dairy, making sure we eat enough variety. Sneaking in treats now and then. Wow, looking through this book was a complete eye opener. I wasn’t expecting to be so disgusted with myself, but I was. Absolutely disgusted.
I can’t believe what I take for granted, even when I think that I am not providing enough good food, I now have a visual of what a family in a refugee camp has available to them. For $1.22 per week, this family of 6 eats and survives on very little food, mostly grains, barely any fruit and vegetables. And I complain about trying to get my food for the month on a $400 budget for a family of 4. It literally made me sick. I have completely been reevaluating everything related to food since I read this book. Not because I want to deprive my family, absolutely not, but because I want to make use of the food that I have available to me in a better way.
I don’t want to throw away leftovers because they have been in the fridge for two days. I don’t want to hear anyone complain that they “don’t prefer” beans and rice, because we have had it already this week. I don’t want to hear about the need for sweets in someones diet because they feel deprived. How can you feel deprived when there is so much available?! It was definitely an eye opener.
Have you seen this new documentary? Have you read What the World Eats? If not, I can’t recommend it enough. Especially since I have been taking Whole Food Kitchen through Beauty that Moves, it seems very interesting to me, especially with the struggles I face on what the right foods are that I should be eating. This week in the workshop, it is about celebrating the family dinner table. I think that this week I need to step back a bit and concentrate on all the choices I do have, even on a “tight budget” by American standards, and just be thankful.