With lent undergoing, and many people giving up what we would deem as “bad” treats, I thought this week I would talk about something that is ever prevalent in our modern society and that’s nutrition.

“What the Health” is a documentary all about the food we eat and what we put into our body, encouraging veganism into our lives instead of animal products, emphasising a plant-based diet can make you feel stronger and more energised. As a non-vegan myself, I felt that it was important to go into the documentary with an open-mind and see what it had to say and offer.

The documentary covered all aspects of our health including the food we digest and the healthy lifestyle benefits alongside. The emphasis became about meat and dairy products containing high amounts of dangerous chemicals and substances that can contribute to more serious problems such as diabetes and strokes. The point was made that with our ever modern world lots of animal products are pumped with harmful antibiotics which overtime can cause dangerous health problems. An investigation was done to find that often these products such as cheese and yoghurts are sponsors of many major American Health Organisations for heart disease and diabetes. The thing that I find scary is that often we don’t know what we are directly consuming. When the health organisations were contacted about this information, they would not reveal anything further and were reluctant to speak about the links they had found. It seemed that the majority of reasons behind this were all to do with money and advertising to a mass audience as widely as possible.

The documentary was American which obviously, is a much larger country than us and equally they have larger mass bulks of products produced, but there was one scene from the documentary in particular that I remember quite vividly. The treatment of animals on some farms including Pigs that are used for our everyday meat products are fed themselves (quite literally) in that if a pig dies that then gets used as food for the living pigs on the farm that eventually will become our pork and bacon, this I found shocking. There are talks of England’s regulations for shipment of animal products to change after we leave the EU or most certainly for meat that is from other countries. If we knew that our produce was fresh and coming from local organic farms without being pumped with any added antibiotics then antibiotic resistance would eventually be an unheard of problem.

There were some elements of the documentary that were flagged up as areas that needed to be looked at. Including comparison of animal products to other consumptions, e.g. eggs were being compared to smoking and milk causing links to cancer. This was not exactly true and most doctors even said that eggs and milk were a really good source of protein and calcium to our bodies, but perhaps where we retrieve them from can help determine the health factors; choosing organic free range eggs rather than ones from caged hens. In Wiltshire there are plenty of places to source local, organic products and so perhaps just considering where we are buying things from can make a huge difference. There was also a mention about sugary foods not being as harmful as animal products but again sugar has always been a huge problem with ongoing or future health problems and so I felt that we have to look at the grand scheme of things.

But as a lasting note, do we ever really know what we are eating? As always, I have been told over and over again that it is everything in moderation and so yes having that occasional treat is good for not only your mind but your body and soul. The documentary opened my eyes to the things that we eat and where we get them from, but for the time being I will still be tucking into my roast dinner on a Sunday (maybe even an organic one!)