Beyond Food: Exploring Alternatives to Western Medicine

Beyond Food the Movie

Directed by Thomas Reyes (2017)

Film Review

I found it somewhat difficult to pinpoint the theme of the wide ranging, somewhat rambling documentary. It seems to be an account of a road trip the filmmakers took across America seeking out individuals who despaired of Western medicine curing their chronic illnesses and sought out other alternatives.

Most of the solutions they found fall roughly under the rubric of “biohacking,” ie small incremental changes in diet and/or lifestyle to improve general health and well-being.

The film outlines a wide variety of “biohacks”:

  • biofeedback aka neural feedback, aka alpha feedback – a process in which subjects (under continuous EEG monitoring) are rewarded with pleasant tones for producing brainwaves associated with meditative states.
  • gradual dietary changes – examples included high fat paleo diets, raw food diets, calorie restriction (which increases longevity 20-50% in animals), gluten and/or dairy free diets, “wild food” or processed food and GMO-free diets or a combination of the six.
  • people growing their own food with bioydynamic techniques that increase soil (and food) nutrients.
  • CrossFit*
  • Parkour**

*CrossFit is a strength, conditioning, and overall fitness program consisting of a mix of aerobic exercise, calisthenics (body weight exercises) and Olympic weightlifting.

**Parkour, aka free running, is a discipline in which practitioners aim to traverse an urban environment independently of streets and sidewalks. Parkour moves include running, climbing, swing, vaulting, jumping, rolling and crawling.

Public library members can view the film free on Kanopy. Type Kanopy and the name of your library into your search engine.

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