I’ve just spent a very enjoyable evening at the movies, watching a documentary which has made my heart sing. The film ‘That Sugar Film’, is so closely aligned with the real food movement (which I am passionate about), that I felt both inspired and hopeful that change is coming…and not before time.
3 years ago, Australian actor/now also film director and producer Damon Gameau, began an experiment on himself to monitor the physical effects of consuming 40 teaspoons of sugar per day. This is the average amount of sugar eaten by Australians. Most of the sugar consumed is hidden in processed foods. Gameau had absolutely no trouble filling his sugar quota using what would conventionally be seen as healthy foods. He didn’t eat any junk food. He ate breakfast cereals, he drank fruit juice and fruit smoothies, and an abundance of supermarket foods, such as pasta sauces and salad dressings etc which are all ladened with hidden sugars.
His experiment lasted for 60 days, and the decline in his health was marked. His liver function deteriorated to the point of him developing a fatty liver, with scarring and the beginnings of cirrhosis. He became pre-diabetic, and put on a huge amount of weight almost entirely around his belly, despite his overall calorie load not actually changing from his pre-experiment intake. His moods yo-yoed, and he looked and felt terrible. He also lost all motivation for activity. As the physical changes started to happen, Gameau realised the power of the message he was creating, and the possibilities of this experiment becoming something of significance. What started as a home movie, now had the potential of becoming an international success, and changing lives.
For me, the message of the film was not a great revelation, but it was still quite shocking. The concept of going from healthy to seriously unhealthy, with foods which are widely accepted as ‘healthy’, was interesting and quite unique. What was really inspiring for me, was the feeling in the cinema, that the groundswell of support for a shift away from processed food is growing. In my mind, the real food movement is the next logical step, and it makes my heart sing.
The film is being released nationally this Thursday March 26th, and the DVD will be released mid 2015.
Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT