ow Our Diet Affects the Environment produced by MichalSiewierski and Kaiser Permanente, anon-for-profit health plan, while different non-fiction forms of communicationthat share a common mission of providing important information on the effectsof the food we eat and how changing our diet can improve our lives.
Thedocumentary Food Choices advocates the benefits of eating a plant-based diet andbegins by discrediting long believed myths about eating land animals and theadvantages of doing so and makes the connection between food choices that theconsumer is making and the environment. KaiserPermanente is an integrated managed care consortium that hasstarted to embrace the concept of disease preventionfrom one’s diet. As a part of theirwebsite, there is an eating and wellness section that incorporates eatinghealthier and eating to prevent and manage diseases. The website explains the significance ofeating healthy and the role dieting plays in preventing, managing, andimproving certain health problems. Eachin its own way, both non-fiction forms of communications convey the messagethat the foods we eat can positively and negatively affect our health. As a way to prevent disease and illnesses,one has to be conscious of the foods they are putting in their bodies and makean effort to understand the health benefits and costs of the food we are eatingand the alternative options. In addition to Food Choices and Kaiser Permanentewebsite, the article Fast-Food Nation Part One: The True Cost of America’s Dietby Eric Schlosser and the text ‘The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to theWrong Nature’ by William Cronon relate to thenon-fiction forms and serve as further evidence to the theme of diet andwellness.
FoodChoices produced by Michal Siewierskiis a documentary thatdiscredits notions that are widely believed to emphasize the benefits of eatinga plant-based diet. One way thisnon-fiction form represents the theme of food is by incorporating interviewsfrom professors, renowned doctors, nutritionists, environmental experts,holistic health practitioners, athletes, chefs, authors, bloggers and includespeople who overcame diseases such as cancer and depression by completelychanging their diet to a plant-based one. Another way this form represents thetheme of endorsing a plant-based diet is through pathos and logos.
The film employs pathos, by using anemotional point of view to persuade the audience. By showing videos of animals being treatedcruelly with sad music and quoting John Joseph McGowan, a punk rock singer andplant-based author, saying, “everybody talks about the holocaust but what aboutthe holocaust were creating for animals, every year were killing billions andbillions of animals and you want peace on earth, peace on earth is for all livingentities not just humans” plays on the audiences’ emotions. The film uses logos, appealing to the audience’ssense of logic and reason to persuade the argument. By having nutritionists’, doctors and universityprofessors all explain in detail how studies and examples show obvious benefitsto be living by a plant-based diet. Withexamples from D. Anthony Evans an inspirational cancer survivor and healthylifestyle enthusiast, who credits changing his diet to beating cancer andsaving his life and Natalie McIntosh, founder of rawfooddorlife.org and awellness advocate and speaker, who credits not eating land animals and onlyeating plant-based food with curing her depression.
Using examples of people whose illness hasbeen cured by eating a plant-based diet as well as athletes and nutritionistwho provide multiple reasonable instances show the logic and reason to change one’sdiet. The film represents food throughpictures, interviews, stories and, narration. Through these methods, the filmmaker created a form to express what helearned about the connection between food and health to create his argument. Towardsthe end of the film, after the nutritionists and professors have made clear thedisadvantages of eating land animals and advantages of eating plant-based foodsthe film turns towards healthcare in America. The narrator tells the audience that America spends more money onhealthcare than any other country in the world yet we have some of the highestrates of chronic disease on the planet, but fortunately, some healthcareinsurances are starting to embrace the concept of disease prevention inaddition to treatment (Siewierski,2016). Some examples ofhealth insurance providers that are starting to accept and encourage the approachof disease prevention from a dietary standpoint are Kaiser Permanente and Medicare.
Kaiser Permanente a healthcare provideroption, has included a health and wellness section on their website to bringawareness that in addition to insurance plans and visiting doctors, “a healthy diet is one of themost powerful medicines you have to keep you well” (healthy.kaiserpermanente.org). Dr.
Michael Greger who is a physician, nutrition expert and author and,founder of nutritionfacts.org explains why insurance companies are promoting ahealthy diet and lifestyle on their websites in addition to insuranceplans. “Medicare now acceptsreimbursement for the Dr. Dean Ornish’s program for reversing heart disease andthis is out of a recognition that this is not only safer, cheaper but it’s moreeffective than the traditional approach which is very costly surgery and alifetime on drugs.
This is reducing sufferingand saving lives but from a fiscal responsibility it’s so much cheaper, cost effective,that if it’s Medicare the taxpayers are fitting the bill so they’re savingmoney by making people healthier (Siewierski,2016).” The non-fiction form, KaiserPermanente’s websiterepresents food in a different way than the documentary Food Choices. There is only one picture of food on the page,it is an image of three bell peppers and there is a short paragraph about theimportance of eating healthy and how a balanced diet could prevent heart disease, diabetes,dementia, and many other conditions. Thepage then lists twelve links that lead to pages that each specifies a differentdisease and what foods would prevent and help that disease. This non-fiction form is representing thetheme of the diet-health connection and how altering one’s diet could prevent andhelp fight disease through stating facts in an easy and accessible manner. The website isn’t using videos, ethos, logosor interviews to make an argument, it is simply making readily available theinformation that anyone can learn more about the role diet plays in preventing,managing, and improving certain health problems by reading their linked articles(healthy.kaiserpermanente.
org). To represent the theme of diet-health, thisform made the information of how to eat healthier in relation to specificdiseases straightforward and easily attainable. As both the documentary FoodChoices and the health insurance website Kaiser Permanente tell the similar story of how a healthy andbalanced diet has many positive benefits for one’s health they do so indifferent ways. As a documentary, FoodChoices tells the story through narration, interviews, pictures and,videos. The audience hears a lot ofexamples of why a plant-based diet is so important from nutritionists andpeople who have changed their diets and experiences life-changing results.
On the other hand, the non-fiction form of website Kaiser Permanente incorporates the health andwellness section where there is a paragraph on how eating a healthy diet canprevent and manage diseases with links allowing one to see how certain diseasesand foods are connected. This is adifferent way of telling a similar story because the information is straightforwardand right in front of you with the resources to get additional material. Where in a documentary the information ispresented in a story-like way that includes nutritionist and professorsteaching the information by using examples and stories in an entertainingway.
I find the documentary whichpresented the information in an entertaining way of an educational topic to bemore compelling. The producer leads the audienceon a journey to find out information and punctuates the message with inspiringstories and the topic presented in an engaging manner makes the argument aswell as the form more compelling. One myth that is discreditedin the beginning of the documentary is that people are concerned that if theychange their diets to solely plant-based they won’t get any calcium. The only reason consumers think they needcalcium is that decades ago scientist were telling people they needed to have ahigher calcium intake. It turns out that scientistswere influenced by the dairy industry to say this because people weren’tdrinking enough milk. Dr. T Colin Campbell who is aprofessional emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University explainedthat while the dairy industry is having scientist say that people need to havemore calcium in reality if you look at the relationship between how muchcalcium people consume in different societies as a relation to a disorder suchas osteoporosis, the bone disease, the higher the calcium intake the higher therisk of osteoporosis (Siewierski,2016).
Thisexample relates to the article Fast-Food Nation Part One: The True Cost ofAmerica’s Diet by Eric Schlosser. A keyterm of the article is “the McDonaldization of America” which was used to meanhow the fast-growing fast food industry would intimidate smaller independentbusinesses and “as a step toward a food economy dominated by giantcorporations and as a homogenizing influence on American life” (Schlosser, np). Eric Schlosser used the term to describe howMcDonald’s would come to control the way America’s food is produced such as potatoesand chicken.
‘The McDonaldization ofAmerica’ means the power these successful fast-food chains have and influenceon what consumers are eating and how that food is being produced. Eric Schlosser and ‘The McDonaldization ofAmerica’ relate to the documentary non-fiction form because both touch on thesubject of the food industries power over consumers, other businesses andproduction. Food Choices stresses howthe dairy industry has caused many people to believe they need calcium or proteinto increase sales and Eric Schlosser gives the term ‘The McDonaldization ofAmerica’ a similar meaning. Eric Schlosser’s term is similar in that it describes howfast-food industry has gained enough power to change the way businesses madeand sold food.
Both the documentary andthe article portray how big industries have enough control and influence tocause whole fast food chains to change how they make and sell food and to causepeople to believe they need to have a lot of calcium when in reality theydon’t. The non-fiction form Kaiser Permanente’s health and wellnesssection expresses the idea that food is more than mere calories. Certain fruits and vegetables have theability to prevent and manage anemia, gout, cancer and many otherillnesses. The web page, eating toprevent disease gives people the knowledge to understand how implementing ahealthy diet change can increase one’s life and fight disease. William Cronon the author of ‘The Trouble with Wilderness;or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature’ tries to define wilderness in relation tosocieties and American society.
Inrelation to the non-fiction form of Kaiser Permanente’s website, one of the definitions ofwilderness Cronon uses is:Indeed,one could almost measure wilderness by the extent to which our recognition ofits otherness requires a conscious, willed act on our part…..The striking powerof the wild is that wonder in the face of it requires no act of will, butforces itself upon us—as an expression of the nonhuman world experiencedthrough the lens of our cultural history—as proof that ours is not the onlypresence in the universe (Cronon, np). When we encounter wilderness enclosed with animals,plants and physical landscapes this causes us to recognize that this’wilderness’ is not our creation and doesn’t rely on society for survival.
An example the text gives is that in thewilderness we know that a tree has its own reason for being that is separatefrom society, while a garden that someone creates and manages might fail to seethat the tree has its own reason for being. This text relates to the non-fiction form because people could forgetthe significance of food in comparison to their health. People could go through their lives eatingfrom fast-food restaurants, getting information from commercials and forgetthat the food they are putting in their bodies could cause grave harm in thelong term. Whereas people who have theinclination to understand what their eating and feeding their children could belife changing in positive or negative ways and make the changes to eat healthily. Thetheme of food and how changing one’s diet can change one’s life is the commonmessage in how two different non-fiction forms intersect and convey information. One form, as a documentary and another formas a health insurancewebsite, tell a similar story about food but make arguments in differentways. The documentary tells the storythrough a story with interviews, pictures, videos and, examples whereas the websiteKaiser Permanente tells the story by stating that one can prevent disease bymaintaining a healthy diet and giving links to certain diseases and what to eatand what to avoid to reduce the risk of contracting those diseases. Both of these forms together with the articleFast-Food Nation Part One: The True Cost of America’s Diet by Eric Schlosserand the text ‘The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to theWrong Nature’ by WilliamCronon serve to convey information central to the theme.
Both non-fiction forms are expressing their messagein different ways, the documentary is trying to persuade you to change yourlifestyle, stop eating land animals and eat plant-based foods for yourself, theenvironment and future generations where Kaiser Permanente is giving you theresources on how to change your diet and the reasons why. The similar theme andmessage are that one needs to change their diet to improve their life andhealth. Both forms give the audience theresources to implement these changes but ultimately, it’s up to the audience toaccept the argument and incorporate those changes into their lives. The presentation is different but the messageis clear, healthy food has the power to change your life.