If you've been blissfully enjoying your meat, cheese, fish and chocolate with a touch of ignorance don't watch this documentary.
We've of course seen all the documentaries on the genre, but What the Health's message hits home hard.
Maybe it's the way it presents the information in such an unassuming way. Maybe it's the way it opens your eyes to the bigger pawns at play in the game of health. Maybe it's the fact that eating all things is not perhaps as harmless as you hoped.
It highlights, as we know that a major cause of chronic disease is our diet. Western culture looks at treatment not prevention. Typically we wait until people are sick, rather than looking at what causes these illnesses.
Slowly this is changing, and people are realising just how crucial the food we eat is. If you've been dealt a bad genetic set of cards you can rectify it with your diet and lifestyle. What the Health even goes so far as to even suggest that our dietary choices have more impact on our health than smoking.
The main downside to the documentary is perhaps that it's totally skewed towards the USA. For example, we learn that one in four deaths in the States is from cancer. It would've been interesting to know that according to the World Health Organisation cancer represents the second more important cause of death in Europe.
What the Health highlights the corruption behind all the big health organisations in the USA - getting funding from meat, dairy and fast food brands.
The US Cancer Society has recipes linking to processed meats, despite the World Health Organisation labelling processed meats a group one carcinogenic. That's the same classification as tobacco.
The American Heart Association has recommended healthy recipes with red meat, despite the documented link between red meat and heart disease. Everyone has their own agenda to promote, including the documentary itself.
What the Health does perhaps placate the influence of sugar in its desire to nail all animal products to the coffin. Countless studies have illustrated the negative impact of sugar. Like anything you watch or read, it's important to use your rationale to take other sources into consideration as well.
The documentary is thought provoking, challenging many ideas you have about what you eat and why. It provides insight into animal products and the detriment to our body they cause such as inflammation.
Here in the Netherlands we love our cold cut meats, salamis, cheeses and chocolate. It's not a question so much of what is bad, but what is less toxic for your body. Small changes all help. Watch it, see what resonates with you and of course be more aware of what you're eating.
We always adhere to the philosophy of eating mostly organic and of course, mostly plants. Check out our recommended plant based eateries in Amsterdam here.