that sugar film


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


getting your real food real easy

Activated organic nuts drying in the dehydrator.  Having trouble stopping myself from munching through all the macadamias.
Activated organic nuts drying in the dehydrator. Having trouble stopping myself from munching through all the macadamias.

When I first started eating what I now simply refer to as “real food”, the novelty of sourcing amazing produce from all over the countryside felt quite satisfying. But that novelty soon wore off and I realised that one of the most difficult aspects of sourcing organic wholefoods and fresh produce is the lack of convenience. I seem to have streamlined my shopping fairly well these days and can pretty much rattle off the per kilo price of any nut, seed or berry within cooee of my place, but it’s still quite complicated. I guess I am comparing my experience to the “one store sells all” conventional supermarket experience, and it just isn’t like that yet. I do envisage a day when it will be, but today the conventional supermarket is the king of convenience, and the real food movement will need to gather a significant amount of momentum to challenge that, and to shift that convenience into the real food world. Or to shift the real food world into the supermarket perhaps.

The rise and growing success of the farmers market movement has been a coup for real foodies, and my family and I love that aspect of our lives. Sunday mornings at South Fremantle farmers market we wander and chat to farmers, meet the makers, eat great food and catch up with friends. Another glimmer of hope on the horizon of convenience for me has been the discovery of The Wholefood Hub. It’s an online Wholefood store run from a small premises in Mount Lawley, by the lovely Nikki Di Costa. I heard about Nikki’s business through a mutual friend about 6 months ago, and I now order nuts, seeds, dried fruit and baking goods in bulk every couple of months through her store.

Before setting up The Wholefood Hub, Nikki worked as a pharmacist, and was lecturing in change management and pharmacy practice for 4th year pharmacy students. Her heart didn’t align with the conventional medical paradym, more the path of helping people take charge of their own health. Her passion lies in showing people the way to real health through real food.

Nikki’s personal wholefood journey began when she was starting her family in 2009. More recently she had a personal health scare which consolidated her thoughts and set her on her new path. She now has 3 kids, all under 5, she runs her wholefood business AND she also does the hard yards which means practicing what she preaches by running a wholefood kitchen for her family. She has only recently given up her university lecturing position. I think I might be able to give her a few tips on the slow living front!

The reality of the online store was born of a dream to motivate, coach and nurture people through their wholefood journeys. Nikki wants to create a community around her business, a concept which links perfectly with the real food movement. She provides simple access to organic and conventional wholefood staples, and a huge range of grocery items and products to help with responsible food consumption and environmental sustainability. She makes useful community links available, posts fantastic recipes on her blog, and also runs classes and coaching. I’m not sure that Woolworths and Coles could match Nikki’s business model if they tried.
Linked to With Some Grace for FYBF