Katie Couric and I are Fed Up

Are you fed up? Go Gingham

Have you ever watched a documentary that made such an impact, you can’t stop thinking about it? I recently watched the film “Fed Up” and I can’t stop thinking about it. (Get it from the library – they have it.)

It’s sad because you’ll meet kids who probably won’t live to see their 50th birthdays. It made me cry to see these young teenagers ages 12, 13, and 14 who have health problems that middle age people usually suffer from.

Honestly, “food” companies should be ashamed of themselves. Truly. I’m using quote marks because what they are selling in grocery stores barely qualifies as actual food. It’s not what I would call “real food” and it’s unacceptable that it’s even legal or allowed.

Here’s what I learned: Sugar is worse than we ever imagined and it is hidden in every “food” item at the grocery store. Our bodies don’t know what to do with all that sugar and it’s killing us. Nutrition fact labels aren’t helping either.

On the nutrition facts listed on the back of food packages, every category has the amount in grams and the percent of daily values, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Go grab a food item and look at the back. I’ll wait.

Here’s my example: The “Clif Builder’s 20g Protein Bar” that I have in front of me lists the serving size, calories, and calories from fat.

Next comes the chart that shows the amount/serving. If I read “Total Fat” it shows 10 grams. The percentage of “Daily Value” or “%DV” of that fat tells me that it’s 15%. Eating this bar will give me 15% of my daily total fat. That’s what I will consume when I eat this bar. Every nutrition fact has an amount listed – cholesterol, sodium, potassium, total carb, etc., and the %DV. Every fact except when we get to sugars.

Sugars? It shows the grams but no listing of the “%DV” or what amount is acceptable in a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Why not? That amount would probably be it. No more sugar for you.With all the sugar (don’t be fooled – not all sugars are called sugar) spelled out, we’d stop. We would demand that food companies quit adding so much sugar to the food.

Imagine looking at the back of a can of soda and seeing that in a small drink, you were drinking more that what was good for you for a day. It would be right there. It should be there but it’s not.

All that sugar is terrible for us. We are not meant to consume sugar in every drink, every meal, every condiment – every everything.

Now I can’t stop myself from looking at the back of food packaging to see what the amount of daily value for sugar is in the package. I’ve never noticed before that it’s missing.

It boils my blood.

It’s why I cook everything at home because that is the only way to eat healthy, real food. You know what’s in your food when you make it yourself.

Watch the movie. Don’t buy fake food. Cooking and eating healthy, real food on a budget can be done. Check the Environmental Working Group’s Good Food on a Tight Budget for more tips.

Sara

Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.

17 Comments


  1. It’s wonderful that you have been deeply touched by the documentary – that’s the point after all! I had never noticed that the %DV was not listed for sugar. Thanks for sharing. As primates, most of our plate should be comprised of greens and other veggies, some healthy protein and fat and limited grains and fruit (mostly berries). Fruit today is not comparable to fruits growing in the wild. Sweeter specimens were selected over the years to obtain large and very sweet fruit. Of course, eating fruit is way better than eating sugar-ladden snacks or chips! Sugar, too many carbs and trans fats are killing us.


    1. Fed Up us also available through Netflix. I watched and especially the segment on school lunch food made me angry.


      1. Totally agree, Cherie. I was so saddened by so many parts….
        Thanks for writing in and sharing. 🙂


    2. All of those additives and fake foods are killing us, Marie-Josee! We need to keep demanding more from food companies and they need to make healthier foods.
      Thanks for writing in and sharing ~


  2. If you want your blood to boil even more, go watch “The True Cost,” about the clothing industry. More reasons to live frugally and sustainably. Keep fighting the good fights!


    1. OK, Rita, I’ll check it out…I have “A Killer Bargain” on DVD which I’m guessing is similar.
      I was on a documentary kick from the library and lots of Frontline shows are here.
      Thanks so much for your kind words, Rita!! 🙂


  3. YES! I’ve been Fed Up for a while, now! I think we have all been duped for so long, we don’t have a clue how harmful sugar actually is for us. I’m talking about added sugar, not natural sugar found in fruit. Unless someone is a diabetic, eating lots of fruit is not bad. It’s the processed crap that is killing us!


    1. Yes, Vanessa, sugar is fruit is just fine!
      We made berry jam last weekend and used 1/4 of the amount of sugar it called for and it’s plenty sweet. Yes, pectin needs sugar to work but not as much as they call for.
      Thanks so much, Vanessa! 🙂


  4. To determine the number of teaspoons of sugar in an item, divide the grams by 4. Flavored yogurt with 26 grams of sugar means 6.5 teaspoons of sugar in one little container. I learned this from a presentation by a Health Department representative.


  5. I’m on more of a kick about added sodium right now. The Daily Values ARE listed but the amounts are crazy. We don’t eat out often, partly because of the cost, but also because the sodium levels are so darn high in the food served.


    1. Kris, I love salt on my food but finishing salt and on food that I’ve cooked – otherwise you’re right – too salty.
      Thanks for bringing that to our attention, Kris.


  6. Very timely – I have just finished “Febfast” Sugar here in Australia. I have had virtually no products with added sugar for a whole month. I can report that about a week in, fruit began to taste amazing as my palate adjusted and that I have lost about 3Kg (a Kg = 2.2 pounds) effortlessly – no other dieting restrictions! Yes, I have had to cook from scratch a lot more so that’s been good for me too. Best of all, its been pretty easy to find no added sugar substitutes for most things and I will keep on buying/making those products. In many cases, sugar and salt is dumped in our food because they are cheap (and nasty) way of hiding crap ingredients. Lets take the power back from these manufacturers that are really no better than drug pushers!


    1. Way to go, Laura! Good for you!
      Yes, I totally agree with you – take back the power is right!!
      Thank you 🙂


  7. Preach it, sister! Sugar is in EVERYthing, and it’s so unnecessary in many foods. Peanut butter, for instance, almost always has added sugar. Even some of the “natural” brands. Peanut butter does NOT need sugar. It’s pure deliciousness on its own. French fries do NOT need sugar, but nearly every brand of frozen fries has sugar.

    I found once I started paying attention and cut back on added sugar, natural foods started to be even more flavorful, similar to Laura’s experience above. It definitely requires you to do more cooking, though, which I actually enjoy. Doing menu planning, which I know you’re a huge fan of (you converted me!), really helps avoid those last minute purchases of prepared foods that will undoubtedly contain sugar in addition to too much fat and salt.
    Erin FB recently posted..Snowshoeing in Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park


  8. I was similarly moved/maddened by Fed Up. Another maddening, eye-opening documentary is Cowspiracy — have you seen this one yet?


    1. Marian, I have not but I just reserved it from the library. Actually, what my library had was, “The sustainability secret : rethinking our diet to transform the world” which says it is based on the documentary “Cowspiracy.” Thank you so much for the suggestion!

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