By now you may have seen, or at least heard of, the Netflix documentary ‘What the Health.” Perhaps, some of you are where I found myself for a couple of weeks…afraid to watch it. But I put on my big girl britches and I braced myself for a personal WTH watch party, complete with front row couch seating and a leopard print onesie dress code.
First off, this is not a film review. Nor am I encouraging you to eat this–and not that. That is for you to decide. But what this film did for me is stress the notion that knowledge is power. The more you know about what you’re putting in your body, the better chance you have at maintaining your health. Whether you’re watching calories or chemicals, reading food labels and doing your own research could literally save your life. Let me get biblical on you for one second. Hosea 4:6 reads, “My people perish from a lack of knowledge.” Ya’ll, for some, not knowing what you’re eating is literally killing you. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s real talk… square biz… straight up (however you want to consider it).
Growing up, it was nothing for me to have multiple servings of meat–of course–fried, as I am a proud Southerner. I mean–seriously, fried pork chops with fried sweet potatoes and cheese biscuits was a normal meal. And let’s not even talk about Sundays, when the dinner table was packed with every sweet, savory, tangy, salty, gooey, crunchy, fatty, bit of yumminess. Those were the days we really could not control what our eating options were. “If you’re hungry, you’ll eat what I cooked,” may have been commonly heard in your household.
But now, when the choice is yours, what do you choose? Do you really know what you’re ordering when you pull into that drive-thru, when you order off the menu of your favorite chain, or when you head to the local grocery store in search for the “prettiest” cut of meat?
I have been on a mission the last several years, to take the saying, “you are what you eat,” to heart. I want to be assured I know what I am eating–or at least as much as is within my control. The last couple of months, I put that car in over-drive. And yes, that is largely in part because of the documentary, mixed and backed by my own research. I have personally made some significant changes to my diet, which is my normal–for now. That’s not to say I will never eat (fill-in the blank) again. But when and if I do, it will definitely be in extreme moderation.
Many have argued that films like ‘What the Health’ are aimed at awakening fear. Well, here’s the reality. The information is out there. You can arm yourself with facts and opinions to come up with your own. Or you can altogether ignore the dietary health aspect of your life. Besides, if there is anything you should be fearful of it’s not knowing.