Category Archives: Films

“Almost Pizza” from SNL

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Funny! Wouldn’t it be fun if food companies were completely truthful about their products? Makes me think of that movie “Crazy People” with Dudley Moore where he becomes successful with his “truth in advertising” campaigns.

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Please don’t “Super Size Me” and Bye Bye Chicken McNuggets!

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My family has officially said goodbye to McDonald’s. (Healthy Point)

Now, before you roll your eyes and think I’m the bandwagon-y type, let me walk you through the steps that brought us to that decision.

Step 1: What’s In A Nugget? (Not foam, by the way)nuggets

Back on March 2, I actually drafted a post that went like this:

Yes, I feed my kids McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. Yes, I’ve heard they’re really not that healthy for kids. But I like Happy Meals – they’re so convenient and McDonald’s has even recently made apples a regular part of the Meals so you no longer have to choose between apples or fries (I believe Burger King still makes you pay extra if you choose apple fingers!). Plus, sometimes they have really neat toys in them.

But today, I got an email from Dr. Mercola at Mercola.com with an article entitled “The Chicken Which Should Be Banned” (article dated 11/08/2010). It begins this way:

Do you put dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone, in your chicken dishes?

How about tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you?

These are just two of the ingredients in a McDonalds Chicken McNugget. Only 50 percent of a McNugget is actually chicken. The other 50 percent includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.

The rest of the article is pretty scary sounding and frankly I didn’t read it all in detail. I don’t want my changes to guided by fear. What I take away from this, though, is the reminder of my desire, based on much of what I’ve been reading and hearing, to move towards a more natural, less-processed way of eating.

I can’t remember why I didn’t publish this post. Must have just forgotten. In the meantime, I told the kids they’re no longer eating McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets because it has foam in it. Oops! My mistake. Still, it sufficiently grossed out my oldest enough to agree with me, which was kind of a surprise.

Step 2: It’ll Just Be Easier (or not)

A couple of Sundays ago, the family went for a drive so I could meet up with a woman who is an Independent Representative with Wildtree. (If you haven’t heard of Wildtree, it’s a direct sales company that offers all-natural foods with no preservatives, additives, MSG, fillers or food dyes.) I had ordered a few items from her and was picking them up to save on shipping costs. We sat and chatted for a while – a great conversation about how to help our families by starting with small healthy changes.

By the time we ran some other errands and were ready to go home, it was late in the afternoon and the kids were tired and hungry. I had promised them some Wildtree fudge sauce, along with ice cream, for dessert. So, I did some quick calculating:

Hour drive home + Minimum half hour before sitting down to dinner + Dessert + Baths = Up past bedtime!

So what executive decision did I make?

McDonald’s Drive Thru + Eat it in the car + Dessert as soon as we get home + Bath = In bed on time!

We were good to go. With the rally cry of “No Chicken McNuggets!” we found a McDonald’s and headed home.

Hah! “Good to go” is hardly how things turned out.

That night, the two oldest were vomiting. Multiple times. The oldest had chills and aches so it wasn’t just the food. Not sure about the second because there were no other symptoms except the vomiting. BOTH of them, however, said, Mommy I don’t want to eat McDonald’s ever again.

Step 3: Romantic Evening with the Husband

A few nights later we decided to watch Super Size Me on TV. (It’s on Hulu, by the way.) I can’t say that the movie was earth-shattering but that could be because we watched it so long after there has already been so much public discussion about it. Still, I came away with these thoughts:

  • That’s a whole lot of McDonald’s in Manhattan. But have you ever counted the number of ABC stores in Waikiki?
  • I really didn’t need to see anyone else vomiting. Had enough of that up close and personal.
  • Sometimes it seemed like he had more drinks than necessary at some meals. Was that for a later meal? For someone else?
  • He was a lean guy and as he gained weight it was noticeable but didn’t look unusual to me. Makes me think that my standard of what people look like is low. I mean, I have friends who look the way he does, probably carrying extra weight that isn’t healthy, and I don’t think twice about it.
  • I was astounded by the effects on his cholesterol levels. I found that most disturbing because I think of what my kids cholesterol levels must be, plus mine and my husbands.
  • I am mostly sickened by the idea of what parts of the chicken are in Chicken McNuggets. Or more accurately, the fact that there isn’t any part of the chicken that isn’t in it!

Conclusion

Forget about any other reasons except for this:

We don’t have to eat McDonald’s foods. We always have a choice. And if we are choosing to live a healthier life, McDonald’s doesn’t have a place in it.

Doesn’t mean, though, that I’m not craving my standard Filet-O-Fish for Lenten Friday lunch…

Alicia Silverstone, the Vegan

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Photo found on cosmopolitan.com

I don’t know about you, but the last I remember of Alicia Silverstone is seeing her in the movie Clueless.

Recently, however, I came across her website The Kind Life, which goes along with her book The Kind Diet. I’m not a big fan of celebrities promoting a particular diet because I’m not always convinced their living the lifestyle. I came across a video of her on FORA.tv. I wish I could embed the video here but I don’t see that as an option on the website.

The video is of Ms. Silverstone speaking at a bookstore to promote The Kind Diet. I was struck not only by how genuine she seems (and how grownup!) but how truly passionate she is about her chosen vegan lifestyle. And I like the fact that as she spoke, and apparently as presented in her book, she was very aware that not everyone thinks and feels the same way she does about political and environmental issues, or even lifestyle and health issues.

I found her talk inspiring in that it encouraged me to continue my journey to a healthier life – however I define that – by recognizing that it is a process and not something I need to be ready to change 100% tomorrow. Check it out.

Food Films I Want To See

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As I continue to educate myself about healthy eating, I’ve come across films (mostly documentaries) created by people so passionate about what they believe or so determined to discover the truth, that I want to see what they see through their cameras. There are also films about people who have made or are trying to make a difference for themselves, our country and the world, that I want to know more about.

Here I’ll keep a list of these films I want to see (in alpha order) and update when I’ve seen them. Perhaps I’ll share my reviews, but as that’s not a forté of mine, don’t expect too much insight or critical thinking. But who knows, I might surprise myself.

Food, Inc. (2008)
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. (description from Food, Inc. site)

The Hunger Games (2012)
I know, I know, not a food film! But a few of us in our household are anxiously awaiting this movie’s premiere. And just for the record, we read it before we even knew it was going to be a movie. God bless youth librarians!

Our Daily Bread (2005)
I think…although I don’t know if I can handle it. I watched the trailer and had to cover half the screen for most of it, I was so grossed out. If I read the reviews correctly, there is no narration, just images. The film’s website describes it as a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn’t always easy to digest – and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2007)
I’m a fan of Independent Lens because I almost always happen on these films by accident, find them absolutely fascinating and end up learning about a subject I never cared about or knew about. This one I’m curious about because Farmer John seems to be quite a character, nothing like the Amish farmers I sometimes see hard at work with their horse-drawn plows, and yet is just as dedicated to his farming life.

Supersize Me (2003)
I realize this is an old one that’s very well-known and probably over-exposed, but I’ve never seen it.