Category Archives: film

My Review of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 1 & 2

So I end up working from home a few weeks ago, and I brought up my Evernote to see what notes I could clean out. As I was doing so I saw an old note that said “Watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. I bring up Netflix, and both that film and it’s sequel are available to stream! I start the first one and let it play in the background while I start to work. As a computer programmer aka developer aka “engineer”, I have the luxury of being able to work and to get things done while I have a movie, music or an audiobook playing in the background.

The movie starts off with the premise of making a change in one’s life. Joe Cross, the director and main character starts the film being overweight and with some painful skin condition that requires a sizable dose of daily medication. He decides to do what he later coins a “Reboot” where he is going to eat nothing every day except for juices made from vegetables. He goes to the doctor before starting this juice-fast and gets his blood drawn to make sure he can go ahead with this experiment. As the movie progresses he travels the United States and meets random people and tells them what he is doing and encourages them to try a sip of his veggie juice. One of the people he encounters is a very obese trucker named Phil Staples, who happens to have the same skin condition which is afflicting Joe Cross. Phil takes down Joe’s contact information and tells him that “one day” he will try juicing. Long story short, Joe finishes his juice fast, which lasted 60 days, loses a lot of weight, has his skin condition go away, which also resulted in him being able to stop taking medication and goes back to Australia. Then one day he gets a phone call from Phil who says he wants to try this juice fast, and then the movie gets interesting… I don’t want to say any more because I do not want to spoil the movie for anyone. But to make a long story short, can an average guy make a change in his life?

Joe Cross is a very determined individual who stuck to his plan and has managed to keep his weight off after the movie, but can you do the same? Can I do the same? Well, if you read the “About Me” on this website, you will know that I used to weight 237 pounds, most of which was fat, and now I weigh 195 pounds and a lot that weight is muscle now when compared to before. How did I make this change? Well, I changed my diet one step at a time, and after looking back after many years, I see that I have a completely new set of habits, as well as an entirely new body. I am not on any medication, so I am “lucky” in that sense, but I tend to believe Obiwan Kenobi when he says “In my experience there is no such thing as luck.”

Anyway, if you go to the film’s website, you can watch both movies for free, I do recommend you do so because they are two great films that document how someone with a chronic medical condition that is deemed incurable by Big Pharma was able to get off of his medication. It makes you wonder, will Big Pharma fund any research on how doing a juice fast will make you lose weight or to heal yourself? Well, we know the answer… Of course not!

After you watch both films, which are now free to stream on, come back to my website and read my review on the Omega 8006 juicer and see why I opted for that juicer over the other ones which I found online. Now don’t get me wrong, a Breville juicer was used in the film and if you want to support Breville, you should at the very least take a look at some of their juicers, but the Omega 8006 had some features that were better for me which may not necessarily be what you are looking for.

Anyway, until we meet again, watch these two films!

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Movie Poster

American Meat – Film Review

When you watch a Kurosawa you don’t expect the shock and awe of a Michael Moore.  Like the increasing sugar levels in many foods, we are expecting more shock and awe from our movies including food documentaries such as Food Inc. and Super Size Me.   Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you won’t get this from the film American Meat, a solutions-oriented documentary directed by Graham Meriwether.

American Meat is subtle, tells several real stories from the U.S. meat industry, points to some solutions as well as things that haven’t worked [yet], but doesn’t freak you out.  It builds on the body of work of existing food documentaries and has a focus.  It assumes we already know about industrial farming's methods from Food Inc or that eating too much McDonalds is bad for you as told by Super Size Me.  American Meat could go into how Americans eat too much meat but it assumes that’s a constant limiting the fronts it takes on.

Key points that we liked in the film:

  1. We need more people to go into farming, it is an industry where the average age is over 50 where a healthy average age for an industry is around 35.
  2. Many animal farmers do not own the animals they raise.  The big food companies such as Tyson and Perdue make the farmers take the risks of owning the equipment and land but keep ownership of the animals which leaves less money in the hands of the farmers.
  3. While technology can be demonized in places such as industrial farming, people like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms has built contraptions such as eggmobiles and pigaerators.  This is technology which enables him to efficiently replicate the natural ecosystem of land rotation so that poultry, cattle, and pigs can use the same land in a way that nature intended.
  4. Transparanecy is important.  Joel at Polyface Farms has an open door policy and is not afraid of being inspected, visited, or asked any questions.  Good luck getting that from companies like Monsanto.
  5. Food subsidies from the US Government help keep industrial farming cheaper for people who do not have the luxury to buy the higher priced grass fed or organic meats.
  6. Some farmers have tried to move to grass-fed farming but have not been able to get customers to sustain their business.  These farmers do prefer the taste of grass-fed meats over the industrially farmed meats.
  7. Vote with your dollar.  Everytime you buy something, you are making a statement.  Farmers get as little as 10 cents for every dollar you spend at a supermarket.  Joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) gets more of that money directly to the farmers which means [in theory] that they can make a healthier product.  We are joining the CSA in Flushing, New York.

We attended the screening at New York University on March 26, 2013 hosted by the NYU Earth Matters group.  According to the IMDB page of the film, it will premier on April 12, 2013 in New York City.