Movie Review: Chow Down (2010)


This is a film review for a movie I watched during a food & health movie mini-marathon at the end of 2014 in order to get some information to motivate me for 2015’s health goals.

The film follows 3 people who have potentially chronic diseases and what happens when they use food to treat and turn their conditions around.
Charles and John have heart disease and Garnet has diabetes. Their doctor’s diagnosis and advice isn’t very positive and they each decide to take matters into their own hands. They each decide to take on a plant-based diet to try to reverse their prognosis.

The cartoon graphics aren’t the greatest. And the statistics are a lot older than I would have expected in a 2010 film. But it was interesting to see the regular people on the street and comments they made. I liked that the people who changed their diet admitted what they really thought. Charles made a big commitment, even traveling in a RV on the family vacation so he could bring his own food. Garnet took her own salad to the company picnic. John made a comment about walking around the block, not normally something he would like to do. And no, nothing in the film mentioned exercise. The participants only spoke about how they changed their diet to change their medical outlook.

Something I didn’t like was Charles’ wife stating how expensive it was to eat healthy. I wonder if she is trying to be frugal in her shopping. Fruits and vegetables can be very expensive, depending on what you are buying and the season you are buying them in. So I wonder about that part. My local Aldi’s normally has pretty decent prices on those items compared to meat prices being more expensive. Also food preservation such as freezing and dehydration or canning would cut these costs and not nutrition.

Dr. Esselstyn makes the statement, “we are selling sickness”. He refers to pills and Lipitor is stated to be the most sold drug. I can believe that, as the word Lipitor is not a foreign term to most people I know. Another statement he makes is that heart procedures are nothing but a temporary patch job, they do nothing to stop or reverse the disease. I don’t think people think about that as a reality. Dr. Esselstyn has started treating patients at his own home. Charles and John are two of those patients.

One big thing the film points out over and over with specific examples is the fact that the United States government and big food item companies are and have been instrumental in keeping certain information from the American public. We know about “big tobacco” and how influential those companies have been in advertising for many years because of the amount of money the sale of cigarettes generate. On the fringe of that  are the alcohol companies. Everyone knows tobacco and alcohol are harmful, but you never hear about the food industry as a bad guy. When you think about it, I am sure food companies have forced certain entities to withhold information that would harm their business. How could we ever put a bad face on the fast food choices we all love? In recent years McDonald’s has had a spotlight on it at times, but where I live, I don’t see any drop in kids sitting strapped in their child seats, eating McDonald’s french fries. And even though I don’t have kids, I know the smell of a car that has dropped and forgotten McDonald’s french fries in it. Ick.

My rating: StarStarStarStarStarStar  6/10

Movie Review: Chow Down (2010)

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