To Veg or Not to Veg: Getting “Veducated” and Learning More About Where America’s Food Comes From

Vegetables and I have always had a slightly contentious relationship. Inherently I knew they were good for me, but I outright avoided them and picked other more “fun” choices for meal sides, like french fries, potatoes, or if i was feeling particularly healthy, fruit. However, since I’ve started eating healthier, less processed foods, I’ve tried to do a bit educate myself a bit more about how our food choices affect our health and the environment These documentaries have been enlightening and at times shocking, but are extremely helpful motivation if you’re trying to eat healthier, cleaner choices or just learn more about America’s current food status.

1. Supersize Me

For my fifth birthday I had the option to choose anywhere in Pensacola, FL (where we lied at the time) for my birthday party. I chose McDonald’s, and there are some epic photos of ¬†yours truly covered in frosting and french fries along with 15-20 other rowdy five-year olds (sorry mom!) and forevermore proclaimed a cheeseburger as my favorite food. I saw this film for the first time in 11th grade in PE, but it didn’t truly resonate with me until I re-watched it online (it’s free on Hulu and can be streamed instantly on Netflix). Morgan Spurlock, the narrator and star of Super Size Me, embarks on a quest to eat only McDonald’s for 30 days and see how this affects his health. The results are eye-opening, and will change the way you consume fast food.

2. Food Inc

food inc


Food Inc. is a full-fledged investigatory look at where America’s food comes from, and is based on Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation¬†(which I have read and highly recommend as well). The documentary takes you inside the slaughterhouses where meat is produced (here’s a tip, don’t watch this on an airplane like I did because of these scenes, your seatmate will assume you’re a lunatic), shares what has happened to America’s farmers in the last few decades, and gives you honest tips for how you can help to change the system. Highly relevant and recommended, this documentary will open your eyes to where food really comes from.

3. Forks Over Knives

I watched this documentary yesterday and have been pondering the questions raised by it ever since. Forks Over Knives “examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.” It stars medical doctors and researchers, and uses case studies throughout the world as evidence. I truth be told haven’t eaten any meat since I saw this yesterday (which was challenging while traveling, the airport is not known for its vegetarian fare), and was surprised by the overwhelming evidence towards not eating meat.

After seeing these documentaries, and seeing the positive affects on health, I am contemplating going vegetarian for the next 6 weeks to see its effect. At the very least, I am going to continue to eat mostly plant-based foods, cut back on dairy products and avoid processed foods. But with all of the research out there, I’d really like to try for myself to see how not eating meat effects my running, skin, and overall mood.

Have you seen any of these documentaries? What do you like to eat to stay healthy?