Review: Hungry for Change

HFCDVD Review: Hungry for Change There has been a lot of buzz around the internet lately about the new film “Hungry for Change” and I’ve seen some relatively strong opinions on both sides. (Not to be confused with the Hunger Games, which I know much less about but which is getting a lot more attention…)

I watched the film when it was available to view for free online, and overall, I’d say it is worth the view. Though it had its flaws, for the most part though, the message was good and for most people, the changes they recommend would be beneficial.

The Not so Good:

  • There was definitely an underlying anti-meat message, and one instance where they specifically said that meat, especially grilled, was dangerous, without giving any science or reference to back it up. It also seemed like several times quotes from Dr. Mercola (who promotes eating quality meats) were cut off in the middle of a sentence or though, and it made me wonder if that is what had been edited out.
  • In the same way, they fell a little short on their healthy fat recommendations. They suggested plant based fats like avocado, olive oil, etc. but didn’t mention coconut oil at all. They came close when they said “Even Salmon can be a good source of healthy fats” but failed to mention that grassfed meats and pastured chicken and eggs can be as well.
  • There was a weird story line mixed into the whole thing about a woman who was struggling with her health. It wasn’t that the story line was bad, it just seemed like it was forced the way they wove it into the film.
  • The whole thing was very pro-vegetable juicing. Certainly, there are worse things to be a proponent for, but I always recommend vegetable smoothies instead of juice (and suggest throwing in a little gelatin too).
  • They talk about the importance of gelatinous foods like chia seeds and aloe, which is true, but don’t mention Gelatin, which is one of the best sources.

The Good:

  • They majorly slam processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, MSG and other preservatives. I agreed 100% with the info they provided on these points. They provided some good science to  back up what these chemicals do to the body and were pretty convincing in their recommendation to avoid them.
  • They definitely promote the veggies, and since most people are not getting near enough fresh veggies, this is great.
  • Probably my favorite part was how they addressed the mental aspects of food and dieting. My favorite piece of advice from the movie was to not think of it as “I want that (food, drink, etc.) and can’t have it” but to reframe in your mind, take control if it and think “I could have that (food, drink, etc.) but I don’t want it.” Merely changing your mental attitude away from a scarcity mentality, which will make you crave it more, will help change the overall outlook on food.
  • The movie also addresses the importance of letting go of feelings of guilt, shame, etc related to your body image and how you relate to food. This is vital for many people, because just the guilt/shame about needing to lose weight and not being able to it very difficult for many people and increases cortisol and stress hormones.
  • There was a star studded list of speakers and while I disagreed with some of them, they all promoted their ideas kindly and in a coherent manner.
  • Did I mention they came down hard on artificial ingredients and sweeteners icon smile Review: Hungry for Change It would be worth watching for that alone.

Do you agree with my opinions? Disagree? Are you drinking a veggie smoothie as you type? Let me know below!

Reader Comments

  1. Jen says

    Yes, I agree with your assessment.  As I first started watching it I thought WOW, this is great. but by the end I  realized they missed some key components like lard, coconut oil, etc.  Yet, the bottom line was clean eating.  I don’t think it was overtly anti-meat, but it certainly wasn’t promoting it as a healthy option

    • IC says

      I’m with you, Jen – and the Wellness Mama! :-) My body needs animal protein and healthy animal fat, and I’ve also been advised by doctors to eat more of the latter. Fatty fish like salmon is a staple mark in my diet. 

      However, Wellness Mama – there is, in fact, scientific evidence that shows how all the good bits in fish and meat disappears or even is reversed when the food is grilled and fried. Among them, a new study on Alzheimer’s found that eating fish at least twice a week dramatically reduced a person’s risk of developing the disease, but only if the fish was ovenbaked, not fried/grilled. Here’s a short excerpt from a PRO-grilling site (check out the link below):”Research suggests that grilled meat may increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Red meats, poultry and fish produce compounds called heterocyclic amines (known carcinogens) when cooked at high temperatures. Another type of carcinogen called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when animal fat drips onto hot coals which then flame up and deposit the carcinogens on the meat.”

      http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/meat_quality/grilling.html 

      • says

        I’ve seen that too, and agree that it raises an interesting point, but I have to wonder… for hundreds of years, people have been cooking over open fires, and the cancer rates have been much lower or non-existant. I’d be curious to see the same study on exclusively grass fed meats just to see if there is a different. Definitely a point for more research though, thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Thank you for posting your review, interesting, what I liked about the movie is that it pointed out how bad sugar and refined flours etc are for us, comparing them to cocaine. It made me sad the way the world has gone and how we are abusing our bodies and disrespecting them too. I hear you on the meat side, and good oils, I guess they couldn’t fit everything in this film!?

  3. Nourishedyear says

    I liked it. They did gloss over the meats/animal fats, but also didn’t go too pro-vegan. Two of the weight loss stories were from Atkins Style low carb.

    Two points that I liked were “gelatinous foods,” which I thought was a great way of putting it, and “don’t focus on what you can’t have, focus on what you can, and the good stuff with drown out the bad.”

  4. Sweet dreams from the north says

    I liked the movie although I agree on you bad points (I am an omnivore believer, particularly as I believe in the GAPS message made by Natasha Campbell-Mcbride). Still, I think it was a piece of excellence when it comes to talking about the whole aspect of healthy eating. I later realized that some of the people that appeared were raw foodies, and that they were probably driving their agenda. However, during the movie I had the impression that they had choosen this strategy only to stay away from anything that could cause controversies because the point of the movie was to raise awareness of healthy eating. Eating veggies cannot be considered controversial. They never mentioned that you should not eat animal products (excepted for the grilled meat, but they are partly right on that, GRILLED is not maybe healthy, while cooked is much better). 

  5. Sweet dreamer says

    Oh and one more thing. I thought the part about sugar in children’s food was by far the best section of the whole movie. More about the harms of sugar, preferably in mainstream media!

  6. Chefbecky says

    While some things were left out, it wasn’t pro-vegan as I thought it might be before I watched it.   I thought that anyone watching it could come away with all kinds of great info on how to make positive changes in their diet (and their childrens diets!)  and that can only be good.   

  7. says

    We agree.  We did refer many family members to the film as it did have lots of good info in it (despite missing some key components like you so eloquently stated above).  However, for a person 40 – 80 pounds overweight, the film would definitely get them on their way. 

    It’s fascinating, this fixation with weight and with the ‘optimal’ diet in our culture.  From our perspective, there is no one diet that is optimal for every person on the planet.  Just as our lives change, our diets morph and shift as a major tool to provide balance and optimal health.  I think broad brush strokes of positive aspects to a healthy diet are required (quality fats, as much nutrition as you can possibly get through real foods in a day, severe limits on sugars, no fake foods/chemical food like substances, lots of vegetables).

    The game (from my perspective) is to combine quality information we learn (our intellects) with listen to what the body wants (the body/heart).  If we rigidly say, ‘I have to eat raw calf liver everyday’ (or any other rigid diet stance) we are setting our system up to become imbalanced.  It’s very different if we say, ‘my system could benefit from more (blank)’ rather than ‘I am a vegetarian (or whatever ‘stance’ the mind takes as ‘right’).  I don’t know if this rant is making sense or not.  I just get amazed at how fixated we all have become around diets and food. 

    I think I hear a blog post brewing within me on the subject :).  Maybe I’ll get to guest post it on the awesome Wellness Mama blog! :)

    Aloha!

  8. Mike F says

     I pretty much agree with everything stated here. One thing that I thought was interesting was the side story with the lady trying to lose weight. The catalyst for her to change her diet was when she was driving in the car and was listening to an interview with Harvey Diamond (http://harveydiamond.com/) talk about nutrition.

    This normally wouldn’t have caught my attention except for the fact that just recently my mother in law was telling me about a diet she was trying to do called “Fit For Life” which was written by Harvey Diamond. This is a strange diet that advocates food combining and what to eat depending on the time of day (i.e. fruits in the morning and grains/meat in the evening).

  9. Becky says

    I agree with what you said about the movie…it was great in that it was anti-processed foods, artificial sweeteners, etc.   I was also perplexed and even fast-forwarded through the parts where the woman wanted to impress her coworker  and lose weight.  Whatevs.  I also googled one of the contributing authors/speakers and came to realize she was pro-vegan, pro-juicing.  I also was a bit confused because nobody mentioned grass-fed meat, pasture chicken, organic eggs, etc.  I definitely left the movie thinking, “I need to eat more vegetables” but I’m still not pro-juicing or vegan.  I also loved, how you mentioned, that dieting doesn’t work, that it’s a lifestyle and mindset. Knowing that you can eat whatever you want, but knowing how it will make you feel afterward and what it does to your body and mind is the key factor.  Thanks for posting this…just saw it last night and glad I’m not the only one who had doubts and liked it at the same time.

  10. Renee DeGroot says

    Katie, Could you explain more about why you recommend vegetable smoothies over juices? I didn’t see it specifically in the articles you linked to. Thank you so much for this and your other helpful articles!  I usually agree with basically all of it, and love learning more!

  11. topolina says

    I think this documentary is aimed towards “regular” people, to make them more aware how sugar is in everything and to give them something to think about. Of course for you and for us who we are passionate about nutrition, health and wellness, there really wasn’t anything that we already didn’t know. So for those other non-passionate-eat-what-you-can people (like my parents for example, sadly), I find this movie really interesting, important and educative. Also for youngsters who (over)indulge wihtout really thinking and knowing about the importance of food.

    And I, personally, didn’t feel that the film was anti-meat. Like somebody said earlier, they probably didn’t have enough time to talk about ALL the aspects of healthy nutrition, otherwise it would have lasted for five hours or so :)

  12. Carolyn Marotta says

    Where’s the beef?   
    I have to say this video was the final kick in the pants to get my son off of the daycare lunches. :)

  13. says

    I loved it! The things you mentioned are true, but for the average american who doesn’t even think twice about eating a poptart for breaskfast every day, this movie is AMAZING for getting people to realize what they’re eating is -not- food. It made me so happy. Love, love, loved it.

  14. says

    The aussie in the video, Joe Cross, has a video that you can view on Amazon.com called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It was interesting. I’m not interested in going on a juice fast, but still an inspiration for taking charge of your health.

  15. Billie36 says

    I liked the film but also really hated the “underlying” story with the woman who was worried about being fat and that the “office” guy wasn’t noticing her.  I feel it cheapened the film.  Could have done without it.

  16. Walkerfarms says

    THANK YOU for pointing out that grass-fed meats, eggs from free-range chicken, and fats from fish are all also part of a healthy diet. I hate when people assume you have to be ‘vegan’ or eat only ‘raw veggies’ to be healthy. My husband and I produce grass-fed meats and do a meat CSA, and it’s amazing how little media there is out there that discusses the difference between stockyard meats and grass-fed meats. It seems that the media (like this movie) simply say that meat is bad, without clarifying that the WAY the meat animal is raised has a hell of a lot to do with the quality of nutrients in the final product. I am SO with this film when they talk about the dangers of the food-like products in our society, and the amount of sugar we eat, but it bothers me when they go straight to veganism as the answer. Thank you for bringing this up!

  17. April Grow says

    I basically agree with your review. i love to watch these kinds of documentaries, but I feel like i’m educated enough to filter out the misinformation (like that meat is bad). I thought it had a lot of good information about MSG, sugar, etc. I also liked the change of mentality you pointed out, but also the idea of adding one thing at a time, and the more good stuff you add in, the less room there will be for the junk. My mom has been living on Nutrisystem for years, and she feels horrible, gets sick ALL THE TIME. She isn’t giving her body any nutrients. I convinced her to do a juice fast like on Fat Sick and nearly Dead (I did it and I felt so great!). She felt great, had all of these positive benefits, and went right back to Nutrisystems. Gross. I’m trying to convince her to wean herself and start with breakfast. Just juice for breakfast, and then do whatever you want for lunch and dinner. Just please feed your body some nutrients so you can fight these viruses. Then eventually try changing lunch. Try doing those mason jar salads that are all over pinterest. Prep once a week. Make some proteins to add to the salads like chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak. etc that same day and freeze/refrigerate them for the week. All things she loves. Doesn’t that sound delicious? It does to me. Take one to work every day. And do whatever she wants for dinner. then eventually work on snacks. Then dinner. Instead of this revolutionary upheaval of your life (which isn’t realistic or sustainable long term for most people), make a change a meal at a time to start eating real food. I encouraged her to watch this show. I’m not sure if she has. I thought the info on chia seeds was good. I already put them in my morning smoothie (I started whole juicing with my blendtec instead of using a juicer bc I think it’s better), but now I’m looking for ways to eat them whole since there seems to be benefit in both ways. I watched this show twice. I got a lot out of it. I already do most of this (except I grill my meat). I made big changes after reading Fast Food Nation. Only local grass fed meat, raw milk, raising my own chickens, etc. And I was already making most things from scratch. These days the things I learn about are what to add instead of what to avoid. I could go on and on and on about this, but I’ll stop now.

  18. MN says

    I guess I missed the parts where they said anything anti-meat, other than the part about carcinogens in grilled meat (I read articles stating that in the 90s. Like anything else, it’s about moderation). Many of the panel are vegan, but I did not find that way of thinking crammed down my throat. I guess I saw it differently…the obvious assumption is that most people already eat meat proteins ( and vegans/vegetarians their alternative proteins)…but they stated time and again that people do not eat enough fruit and vegetables – plant based foods. I don’t think anyone would disagree that this is true for most of the U.S. Unless potatoes and corn, drowned in butter and other stuff, is considered eating vegetables. I liked that they pointed out the sugar and chemicals/possible aspartame in dressings, cereals, etc. The average American would drown an iceburg lettuce salad in dressing (not to mention bacon and other things) and convince themselves they’re eating healthy. We need more shows like this to teach people about the food industry, the crap that is in the processed foods they fill their grocery carts with and that they need to eat nutritious fruits and veg. No, they did not talk about the fats in grass fed meats…they also didn’t talk about healthy fats in nuts and seeds. I’m ok with it for what it was. To get people thinking, it needs to be entertaining and hit some key points (Food, inc. comes to mind. There were other scientific documentaries before it came along, but the mainstream won’t take the time to sit through them)…enough to make people think. If one parent buys one less box of processed (fill in the blank) it’s a start.

  19. Augustine Thomas says

    I agree in part. One needs very little meat to be healthy and most of us abuse it remorselessly. The film did the best job I’ve seen of not getting whacko leftist and just suggesting that there is a danger of eating too much fried or charred meats. There have been several studies linking consumption of overly burned animal flesh to cancer. (As most of us now know, it doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get cancer. The pre-moderns had so few other cancer causing agents in their lives that they likely escaped the dangers of having just a few.)
    I LOVED the movie. It made me do a juice cleanse and I’ve never felt so great in my life! It also helped me get over an extremely nasty flu. HUGE fan of this movie!

  20. DDixon Philadelphia says

    It is a well known fact that grilled meat is unhealthy and has carcinogens. I’ve seen enough reports for the last 20 years that I can hear them say it in this documentary and accept it as fact such as smoking causes cancer.

    Gelatin comes from the hooves of pigs and cows so many people would prefer chia over a product made from a body part that the animal was walking through his own waste on, and Muslims to not want any pork derived gelatin.

  21. char says

    i saw this on amazon prime and i want to say that i am proud of amazon for putting out there documentaries such as this one. anyway. i like it; i was thinking of suggesting some people in my life watch it. it was also one of the first documentaries i watched on our food system and it really opens your eyes to how broken it is. we have farmers that can’t feed themselves. how backwards is that.
    i have watched many of these type of “movies” since it really motivates you to do a serious change in your life
    that being said i am from the midwest and we have winter here; like below zero for days on end; and that puts a serious damper on getting fresh vegetables from anywhere except WALMART and our other regional grocer. that is my biggest, i guess you could say, stumbling block.
    thank you Wellness mama you are awesome. i just found your website the other day and it is exactly what i have been looking for. keep up the good work!

  22. Ana says

    I haven’t seen this particular film, but I recently watched “The Beautiful Truth” about the Gerson therapy, which promotes juicing and is also anti-meat /animal fat. It is used primarily for the treatment of cancer, but was recommended to me to reduce thyroid nodules that would otherwise have to be surgically removed. I follow a strict paleo diet so going without whole foods and animal fat for a month seems extreme.

    Anyone here have any experience with the Gerson therapy?

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