Sorry the blog didn't make it up yesterday - I've been busy with lots of different projects lately including teaching a nutrition lab at my alma mater. I am absolutely loving it! I'm pretty sure I'm much more excited for the 2 hour labs than the students are and I'm still getting the hang of it, however the information is so relevant to what I do everyday that I'm learning so much just by teaching it!
For those of you who follow me on social media (facebook, instagram, twitter) you may have caught what today's post was going to be about. For those ofyou who don't follow me you should probably get on that. haha You can usually find me by searching "Whitty Nutrition" - just don't forget the "h"!
Often as I'm getting ready for my day I like to have my tablet sitting on my vanity and listen to music or watch an episode of something on Netflix. Last week I was getting ready to head to the university to teach a lab and I noticed a new ad on the Netflix banner for a documentary called 'Living on One Dollar.' I quickly read the the description and thought it sounded interesting so I clicked on it and began to watch. I'm a sucker for documentaries.
The film opens with a time lapsed aerial view of a what looks like small village in the middle of a tropical country. This is followed by a clip of a woman, in brightly colored clothes washing dishes by hand at an outdoor sink with chickens wandering around her feet. Contrasting that is a clip of a young male (hint - you'll see him again later) brushing his teeth in a modern looking bathroom and you start to get the idea that the film is going to compare/contrast the lifestyle differences between two cultures from across the globe. And your feeling would be right.
These contrasting images continue to flicker back and forth for a few minutes followed by an introduction of the young men that created this project and in turn, the Living On One organization.
Living On One
"Living On One is a production and social impact studio that creates films and educational videos to raise awareness and inspire action around extreme poverty."
Their documentary, which was filmed in 2010, has since won Best Documentary at the Sonoma International Film Festival and has received numerous endorsements. The Living On One team just returned from living alongside Syrian refugees in Jordan where they were filming a new documentary about the complex realities of life as a refugee. I'm already looking forward to seeing it! If you want to learn more about this organization check out their website, follow them on facebook and twitter and join the conversation!
"Living On One Dollar"
The project had a fascinating design, in that the cast aimed to create for themselves realistic situations when living in poverty. For example, each of them had $56 to last them 56 days but instead of giving themselves $1 each day they made their income unpredictable (as it is for many informal laborers in that area) and pulled numbers out of a hat to determine how much money they would have for each day to cover all of their costs (firewood, food, toiletries, etc.). They also took out a loan from a microfinance organization for a place to live and in order to start their own business growing radishes.
Other nutrition-related themes I noticed as I watched this documentary ....
It was almost horrifying to see the cast deteriorate over the course of the documentary. I'm not quite sure they would have made it 56 days had they not been shown better ways of cooking, how to get better bargains on food, and most importantly, discover the power of fat!
Once the team discovered they could buy lard and add it to their food they were able to increase their caloric content quite significantly (hint: fat has more than 2X as many calories per gram than both carbohydrates and protein), which allowed them to more closely meet their energy needs. Calories, no matter where they had to get them, came 1st.
The universal comfort of food
Overfed and undernourished
I wonder sometimes, if we really knew hunger, would we still reach for a fast food burger ... or a basket of fresh fruits and vegetables? You'll know what I mean about 23 minutes in.
As mentioned above, there are numerous other topics covered throughout this film from commentary regarding the importance of community, microfinance, international aid, and the ultimate goal of "progress out of poverty" as Zach puts it. Chris has a profound discussion about the "power of partial solutions" - the fact that there are more people NOT living in poverty than those that ARE, means that if each individual did something to help (beyond pouring in another trillion dollars) there may actually be hope for change. I think caring about our neighbors well-being whether they are down the street or across the globe is essential for us as a human race. Communities come in all shapes in sizes from the people living on your street, in your city, in your country, and around this globe. It is important for us to consume resources, especially our food and water, in a sustainable and responsible way. Maybe take a look at the food waste in your house? Are you interested in volunteering at a shelter or even baking for a friend or neighbor that could use some help? If your interested in getting involved on a global scale, research some organizations that have values that line up with your own. There are many out there - perhaps Living On One is an organization that you would like to get involved with? By the way .... Whitty Nutrition is in no way sponsored by Living On One, however I would welcome the opportunity to sit at a table and discuss some of these issues with them anytime!
All in all, I rated this documentary a 10/10 on IMBD and highly suggest you watch it. It's only about an hour and I'm already on my 3rd run through! I hope you enjoy!
Have a great week! Let me know if you like these review posts and share your thoughts and comments on the documentary below, on facebook, twitter, or instagram!