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Thoughts on the Documentary Fed Up, and Things I’m Thinking About (5-20-24)

The movie Fed Up talks about the obesity epidemic in America and the role of the government in keeping people uninformed about the danger of sugar.
I thought I knew a lot about sugar and the obesity epidemic, but this movie was a real eye-opener.

I’m going to start things out on a serious note this week.  Over the weekend I saw the documentary Fed Up, and even though I’ve been on the anti-sugar bandwagon for many years, I was still stunned by the degree to which over-consumption of sugar is making Americans sick, and even more bothered by the claims of political maneuvering that’s gone on to prevent the government from making people aware the dangers of too much sugar.  And I’m not the only one thinking about this; cookbook author and food expert Mark Bittman talks about Fed Up in the New York Times, calling it An Inconvenient Truth About Our Food, and well-known chef and blogger Michael Ruhlman writes On Seeing Fed Up (and you can watch the trailer there.) Also the blog U.S. Food Policy has a piece with links to facts about the diagnosis and potential solutions, and this opinion piece from The New York Times on Why We’re Always Hungry supports many of the points in the movie.  Whether you’re a parent, someone who has struggled to lose weight, or just someone trying be as healthy as possible, I highly recommend seeing this movie.

Now, on to a few more things I’ve been thinking about . . .

I have to credit my friend Lydia for introducing me to a site called Brain Pickings, and that’s where I read about a book by illustrator Sophie Blackall called The Baby Tree that explains to young kids where babies come from in a way that’s honest and charming.  You can see the book there if you’re a parent or grand parent who might like to buy it.
From Today’s Mama, a series of portraits made up half-and-half of faces from mothers and daughters to skillfully illustrate how genetic similarities are passed on.  Amazing!
I’m nearly done reading the recently re-released novel Mornings in Jenin, a beautifully-written book that has made me realize how little I actually know about the history behind the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.  Very worth a read if you’re interested in that issue or just like a good book.

I spotted Garlicky Buttermilk, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Dill Dressing at She’s in the Kitchen, and all I can say is yes, please!
I’m always telling people not to refrigerate tomatoes, so I felt validated when I saw them on this list of 10 Foods You Should Never Keep in the Fridge from Huffington Post.

And finally, I can’t say whether it works or not, but I’m intrigued by this weed killer recipe I keep seeing on Pinterest.  My driveway has cracks between the sections where I want to kill weeds, going to try it.

What have you been thinking about lately?  Please share in the
comments, and if you’re spotted something especially interesting online,
links are welcome.
  (You can use the label Things I’m Thinking About to see more round-ups like this one.)

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19 comments on “Thoughts on the Documentary Fed Up, and Things I’m Thinking About (5-20-24)”

  1. Liz the point about subsidizing the sugar growers is made very well in the movie.

    I haven't tried the weed killer but I'm guessing you could use most any kind of dish soap.

  2. Two things come to mind:

    There would be less sugar in our food products if we quit subsidizing those growers in favor of healthier growers, like tomato and zuchinni growers, or almond and avocado ranchers.

    Dawn dish detergent, in that weed killer recipe, is said to exceptionally bad — like will cause a car engine to seize harder and faster than a bag of sugar. It will mass sterilize whatever it is put on, so take considerable care where you apply it. I have a neighbor that would just use scalding water from a tea kettle to take out those annoying weeds.

  3. Liz, I have stored olive oil in the cupboard for more than 30 years now and never had a problem, so I think if you use it regularly it will be fine.

  4. Diagree with "don't put olive oil in the refrigerator". If it is NOT refrigerated, it will turn rancid.

    Liz P. Hondo, TX

  5. Tobie, completely agree on both points!

  6. Great post-American's need training-or something-about eating real food. Shop the outside of the supermarket. Eat fresh food and forget the packaged stuff. Maybe once a week use packaged food products.
    I've not read Mornings in Jenin but I go to Israel yearly to visit grandkids. One thing I've learned over the years is that there is no black and white in this situation-it's all gray and very complicated. Plus BOTH sides must want a peace and MANY sides must compromise.
    Thanks for your recommendations.

  7. Chris I hope you will see the movie because it's not just about the dangers of sugar but also the conspiracy to keep the public addicted to it. (Okay "conspiracy" is too harsh of a word, but it's still shocking how the food companies have promoted the over-consumption of it.)

  8. Hey Kalyn, thanks for bringing your readers the reality of the sugar epidemic. So glad that Katie Couric has brought this to the forefront where it needs to be with Fed Up. I'm always coaching my clients about the sugar dangers and once they get it out of their diet they feel better, have more energy and health issues begin to resolve.

  9. SN, that's true. But this movie is about much, much more than being addicted to sugar. Hope you will see it.

    Lydia, the movie is really shocking in many ways. Thanks again for Brain Pickings; so good!

  10. I'm so glad you're finding Brain Pickings as much fun as I am. And I can't wait to see Fed Up.

  11. Hi Kalyn. And the worst part is, just like salt, the more sugar you eat the more you need to eat it. I remember the first time I tried low salt ketchup. Yuck! Same for all that sugar. We get addicated without even knowing it.

  12. Jessica, exactly right! And I am also glad to see a lot of people talking about it.

  13. Hi Kalyn!

    Thank you for this post. I read Ruhlman's review yesterday and am excited to see so many food writers talking about it. I saw Dr. Robert Lustig on Bill Maher last night and was happy to see him bullet out the 3 things he hopes people take away from the movie. The one that opened my eyes is that it's not just about obesity, it is about chronic disease.

    It feels very similar to the tobacco industry controversy.

  14. Florence, hope you enjoy them both!

  15. Fed Up is not showing in my area but I have put it in my Netflix queue.
    Thank you for the book recommendation. I look forward to reading it.

  16. Thanks Vicki, the movie was pretty shocking. I knew that sugar was in everything, but not how the food companies had lobbied the government to prevent reporting on how dangerous it is. Just ordered From Beirut to Jerusalem for my kindle, thanks!

  17. Kalen

    thanks for another interesting "tuesday". when south beach forced me to look at sugar in my food, i was shocked at how sugar was everywhere; very sobering. The movie should make more people aware.

    Based on your recommendation, I just ordered "Mornings in Jenin". It looks like a good novel. For non-fiction on the same topic, I recommend "From Beirut to Jerusalem". It is an excellent complete and unbiased book.

  18. Merisi, the film really did blow my mind; can't stop thinking about it. So glad I have good friends like Lydia to introduce me to thinks like Brain Pickings. I agree, it's delightful!

  19. Thank you for sharing all those interesting links, especially regarding the sugar trap!

    I love Brainpickings, so much (no sugar!) food for thoughts, always a delight.

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