By Carrington Beauchamp, Contributing Writer
Have you ever had a hard time talking to family or friends about the health and lifestyle choices you make?
Well, you’re not alone. Even a basic choice for us, like choosing to eat only organic food has been met with much confusion and misunderstanding, not to mention our more “extreme” decisions like choosing to not vaccinate or have our babies (gasp!) at home.
I have learned that, most of the time, before I can even create a context for real “discussion” about our choices, I have to educate them on issues they simply don’t understand.
I’ve also learned that this is almost impossible. Maybe it’s because they do not really see me as someone with any credibility, or maybe it’s just too hard to get past things they have been wrongly taught for years.
One of my favorite new resources for helping our friends and family understand us a little more–as well as influence them to make some changes in their own lives–is documentaries!
Documentaries are great to share for a few reasons, including:
● Documentaries aren’t personal. All of a sudden, I don’t have to be the bad guy who is telling them that what they are eating is making them overweight and sick. They don’t have to be mad at me, and I don’t have to be the messenger that gets killed.
● Documentaries use experts. It’s hard for your best girlfriend who’s known you for years to all of a sudden see you as an authority on thyroid issues, or preventing heart disease. Unless you have an M.D. at the end of your name, some people will never trust that you know what you’re talking about so confidently. Well, these documentaries are chock full of industry experts, doctors, dietitians, and scientists that have all the credibility.
● Documentaries tell the whole story. I can never relay “the whole story” because I am constantly interrupted, or I run out of time. I simply cannot get someone’s attention long enough to tell them the history of farming and GMOs or why the big food companies cannot be trusted. With these movies, they will start from the beginning of the story and walk people through it, so they capture the whole picture, not just talking points.
● Documentaries create context for discussion. I mentioned this earlier, but this is so important. Arguing a point is almost futile when the person you arguing with doesn’t even know enough to be arguing their position. It is too hard to create change in someone whom you first have to educate.
So, is your mother-in-law constantly feeding your kids candy and fast food, clueless as to why you care so much about it? Do you have friends that tease you for being a “hippie”, or “radical?”
Invite them over for a movie night! If they have Netflix, ask them to watch one and talk about it the next day over coffee.
Since we’re talking about food advocacy this month, here are my top three recommendations for documentaries about food industry advocacy…
This is a great starter. It talks about the ugly and dark side of the food industry, how our government has allowed these businesses to put profit ahead of our country’s health. It answers the question: “Where does my food really come from?” and breaks down the blind trust that most Americans have placed in food providers. Consider this the perfect companion for those who argue: “Well, they wouldn’t market this for babies if it wasn’t safe.”
Turn on your nightly news and you’ll see report after report about the state of the average American’s health. People can’t stop talking about rising medical bills and prescription drugs. What you won’t hear them talking about, though, is why. I think most people would contribute obesity to people’s diets, but I do not think that they would associate diets with disease and illness. Food Matters talks about the big business of pharmaceutical and food companies and how they are very friendly with our government agencies. Doctors are not educated on health, diet, nutrition, or supplements and they are only taught to treat symptoms, not causes. In the meantime, we’re all just getting sicker and sicker.
The beginning of this documentary focuses on trying to prove wrong the other popular documentary, Super Size Me. Although this might sound like a counterargument (Fast food won’t make you sick? What?), the rest of the documentary–and its conclusion–are something to see for yourself. It identifies the real issues being processed carbs and trans fat (not real fat), which, in some ways, our government forced the fast food restaurants to use. It breaks down the entire heart disease myth–information that would probably make the American Heart Association AHA) not very happy. Talking to the industry’s experts on FAT and why fat is actually important to our health, this revealing film reveals that our government and food industry has wrongly made this essential diet component something to avoid. It’s also a plus that Fat Head is probably the most entertaining of the three documentaries, too.
Have you got any recommendations for me? What are some of your favorite and most influential documentaries?
Carrington is a Wife to her high school sweet <3 and a Mama to two and expecting #3. She spends her time seeking out new friendships, reading, writing, and being an alternative health, and vaccine advocate. She loves Jesus, all natural living, and hand made lovelies. She blogs in the sunshine of Arizona about natural health, marriage, faith and family on her blog… Organic Life Love.