BEYOND FOOD: An Exploration Of Extraordinary Health
Beyond Food is a documentary that explores recent trends and diets in the food industry, asking advice from numerous professionals. We spoke with director Tom Reyes.
Beyond Food is an exploration of a collective of prodigious individuals who are actively living an empowering existence. They embody a healthy lifestyle by eating delectable foods and monopolising on the available nutrients to cultivate energy and mental focus.
Given the advances in knowledge and technology available to the public today, director Tom Reyes (whom I spoke with), wanted to give a contemporary and educated portrayal of how ‘extraordinary health’ can be achieved. “Hacking our biology, our food options, the things we repeatedly do, the emotions we nurture on a daily basis, the affordable transformative technologies that are available on our smartphones and how today’s science comes together with ancient methods of managing your nervous system like… breathing.”
The team traversed the boundaries of the United States with an objective of interviewing a diverse range of extraordinary people. They found a group of ‘courageous pioneers’ who are challenging the mainstream health advice and sat with them for in-depth and illuminating interviews. “We were looking for people who had figured something out about creating extraordinary health and wanted to talk to them and hear their experience and journey. With a non-discrimination policy.”
Reyes had come from a fine arts background; he produced video art installations and completed a Master’s degree in Multimedia Arts and Photography at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. It was merely a matter of time for an amalgamation of his talents and passions to become one.
The self-dubbed ‘hybrid’, Reyes is drawing upon his experiences as a chef, photographer, and artist – he was driven to make the documentary as a result of a change in diet, when he moved from Tokyo to New York and began putting on weight. This indulgence of cuisine also lead to digesting food related documentaries; Food Inc, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead and Forks Over Knives. He said, “I met with Juan Peredes, my co-director, we were doing complimentary research and we thought we were onto something. We needed to tell this story”.
From the beginning, he had anticipated that this search for knowledge would change him. But, he did not expect the improvement within his life in ways he had not fathomed. “We are truly grateful for this knowledge, tools and this group of amazing people that opened their doors to us. This movie is for you, so that you can bring all this into your life.”
In order to garner a wide spectrum of information, the team interviewed; Biohackers, Neuroscientists, Foragers, ‘Gut Scientists’, Vegans, Paleo, Farmers, Ranchers and Athletes. Some of the featured characters are Dave Asprey of Bulletproof Exec, James Hardt of the Biocybernaut Institute, Laird Hamilton, Alan Cash, Nir Eyal and Mariel Hemingway
Beyond Food‘s overall goal is to illustrate, that everyone’s health needs are as individual as their own fingerprints. No single fad diet works for everyone. The best thing anyone can do is gather a foundation knowledge, ditch the processed food, and utilise ingredients that are as fresh as possible and raised in the most innovative and regenerative means as possible.
This would result in a healthier population and planet. “I would encourage people to check out the Weston Price Foundation, The Allan Savory Institute and the Nourishing Traditions & Broth Cookbooks. These are only a few of a greater selection, but there’s a lot of good solid information about eating foods that are truly restorative and not toxic to your organism.”
Beyond Food also serves to invite people to be more specific when talking about food. It is now controversial to talk about meat and vegetables in ‘general terms’ – where food has been grown or raised on poor soils, sprayed with pesticides or genetically modified to be more resilient, which can be just as bad as feedlot meat.
Dessert: Beyond Food
Beyond Food is not a sermon or a quick fix solution like fad diets or magic bullet concoctions. It is a public service, providing people with the skills and knowledge to improve their health and well being.
Reyes said, “I want our audience to feel empowered and inspired. There is only one health, and it’s unique to you. I want us all to move away from all the fearmongering and judgmental approach to health; You need to stop eating meat, meat is evil, sugar is evil, you need to juice, become vegan, et cetera, or simply “this” is the diet to rule them all kind of talk. We can ditch the belief systems and replace them with a more scientific approach, which means experimenting. Once you get the basics, experience and observation of how your body feels, your energy and brainpower levels are the best measures. If you’re not experimenting, you’re not having fun.”
We have millions of neurons in our digestive system, from where food enters our body to when it leaves. “Equipped with the right knowledge, food can nourish you, comfort you, keep you strong and healthy and even give you real pleasure.”
This documentary does provide an informative outlook on dieting but can at points come across as slightly repetitive. This style of interviewing has grown more and more popular in recent years, reiterating key points but, does the watcher really learn anything new?
Like all good restaurants, we welcome feedback. Do you think this was a revolutionary documentary in dieting ideology or merely as repetitive as the chain fast food restaurants it loathes? Are there better documentaries or films available already?
Beyond Food is now available to watch on Amazon Video.
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