The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly half of the population in the United States lives with at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases include heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and cancer. These diseases are the leading cause of death and disability and are the most costly and most preventable of all health conditions in this country.
I am one of the 117 million people from the CDC report that lives with a chronic disease. I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2000 and was put on 22 different pills daily, including Prednisone which has a long list of side effects including the dreaded moon face. Life with Crohn's was continuously interrupted by flare-ups and felt out of my control. I lived in fear of having to return to medications full of side effects. In 2012 my symptoms returned. I desperately searched for another way to treat myself. What I found was a new way of eating which, for the first time in 12 years, allowed me to heal without prescriptions. Nearly 3 years later I'm feeling the healthiest I've felt in 15 years. If someone had told me that I could take control of my health through diet 15 years ago I would have gladly jumped on this ship long ago. With this film I want to share what I have learned with those who are also looking for another way to heal.
My personal healing was the inspiration for creating a positive, feature-length film about addressing disease with food. There are a lot of negative messages about the state of our nation’s health and diet, but we are filming the efforts of those who are fighting back against the status quo. We are documenting the journey of food, health, community, and hope through the stories of three individuals addressing various health concerns with dietary changes. This story is supported with interviews from experts and researchers working in the fields of nutrition and health, as well as writers, chefs, business owners and community organizers.
Through these stories we will be addressing several topics including our burgeoning understanding of the microbiome, research findings on the importance of nutrition in epigenetics and the health of future generations, how the current food culture influences what ends up on our plates, why putting health first can be good for the bottom line in business, and food access for those at risk of food insecurity.
It is imperative that we start changing our food culture now. From our interview with Kent Thornburg, PhD of Oregon Health & Science University, we learned that right now, cardiovascular disease is costing our healthcare system over $1 billion every day. And, from our interview with Terry Wahls, MD, we learned that the decreased productivity that comes from illness and disability costs our country 2-3 times what we pay in direct medical costs. If we stay on the current trajectory, that number will double in the next 15 years, which will likely bankrupt our medical system and devastate our economy. We need to support the growing body of research being done showing the correlation between diet and health and the many creative initiatives in the areas of nutrition, food policy and food access that people are working on right now. And we also need to rally around those who are beginning to heal through a healthier food culture. With so many documentaries about food trying to shock and appall their audience, a positive message about food needs to be sent through this film to inspire people and reconnect them with their health.
We hope these rewards will inspire you to bring more health into your everyday life!
Food As Medicine will show the journey of healing that is involved when an individual, a culture, and a medical system begin to make changes. This film will provide an understanding of these changes to individuals who are looking for answers with their own chronic disease management.
We are currently planning to partner with medical communities to screen the documentary paired with panel discussions as a way to support outreach efforts to the community. We plan to work with our distributor to make this available on the appropriate online streaming platforms, so that it accessible to anyone searching for another way.
Extra funding for this project will really help us make this an impactful film with a memorable message that will result in a ripple effect of positive health.
Risks and challenges
Just like a journey of healing, the process of making a film can face struggles, obstacles, and setbacks. However, we are too far along the journey of making this film to turn back and give up. With the experience of having completed one film already, we see no reason why we shouldn’t reach our goal to complete this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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