What documentaries do you recommend?
Anything by michael pollan is good. He definitely has a more balanced approach than a lot of folks.
His stuff includes:
Cooked (on Netflix)
In Defense Of Food (PBS special. Might be on a streaming service)
and parts of the classic if outdated Food, Inc.
I would read "The Omnivores Dilemma" as well.
Random other documentaries:
Sugar Coated - This goes into the history of our relationship with sugar including how FUCKED policy makers are and what too much sugar actually does to our bodies.
The Human Experiment - This is not about food per se, but it goes over the chemical industry and how they don't have to prove that their products are safe, they have to prove that they aren't harmful, which is a much lower burden of proof.
Rotten - This is about the business of food and covers a variety of topics.
Cowpocalypse - This is admittedly a vegan propoganda film. Much of it takes a good look at the factory farming practices for meat producers. Its disgusting.. His conculsion in the last 10 minutes doesn't make sense to me though. He basically says "factory farming is evil, therefore we need to shut it down by all being vegan". Which makes no sense since 1) ecologically speaking, the environment is much MUCH healthier when is has a bunch of different inputs and outputs from both plants and animals. 2) It totally dismisses simply carefully sourcing your food and eating less meat, since the average westerner eat WAY too much meat as a portion of their diet. If you go to the farmer market and the meat producer there gives tours of their farm, they animals probably have pretty good lives, the meat will be more expensive and you will naturally eat less of it.
Farmageddon - Another one about how big agribusiness has driven legal policy in such a way to harm small producers.
You'll notice a good portion of those are more about policy and food sourcing than what is actually good or bad to eat. That's mainly because my personal belief (which has come about after watching and reading all this stuff) is that eating real food, that was raised/grown properly, which comes from understanding where food comes from, will take care of 95% of your nutritional questions as a by product. I really like one of the Michal Pollan documentaries where be basically sums it up by saying, "Eat real food, Mostly vegetables and not too much".
Alright I think I understand. Do you happen to know any specific ingredients that are not digestible? I can keep a look out for those.
Anything with Hydrogenated oils. Basically they take vegetable oil, heat it, pressurize it and inject hydrogen into it so that it binds with the oil to make it solid at room temperature. This is used a lot to simulate meat fat, but is a form that doesn't exist in nature since none of the conditions required to make it actually exist outside of a lab, let alone in a living thing. it produces trans fats and otherwise our bodies basically don't know what to do with it. If there is one fat that is super bad for you, its trans fats in any amount.
The jury is still out on Acesulfame K. Its an artificial sweetener that may or may not be carcinogenic. Other artificial sweeteners are NOT carcinogenic like aspartame and saccharin. The reason I don't like food that has artificial sweeteners is mostly because they are cheap. And if they are cheaping out on some ingredients, what else are they cheaping out on? The thing is, if you want something sweet have it! just have less than an "American Portion" and don't eat it all the time. No need to avoid cupcakes at a party, but if you're eating them for breakfast... that's a problem lol.
The general rule is, pay attention to the ingredients list. If it has stuff you can't pronounce, look it up. Some things are ok, like Ascorbic Acid which is just vitamin C.
Another general rule is, the more ingredients, to more unnecessarily processed the food probably is. Some supermarket breads have like 30 ingredients. Basic Bread only needs 4. Flour, Water, Salt and Yeast. If you're making an old sourdough, you don't even necessarily need yeast. A fancy bread might have like 7 or 8 ingredients if you add things like honey, milk, eggs or mix-ins like nuts.
Also do yourself a favor and get a bread machine (I recommend the Cuisinart CBK-100) and learn to make whole-wheat or half whole-wheat bread. Real, fresh whole wheat bread is so good. The reason people think its bad is because the supermarket stuff tastes like ass and its harder to make shelf stable than white bread, so advertise have been tricking us for literally generations. When you throw out the bran like you do with white bread, you also throw out the good oils which is the part that can go rancid and become bitter when it gets really old. If you store whole wheat flour in the freezer, it lasts a lot longer. It still take a good 3-6 months to start going rancid though, which tells you how old the flour used on those store breads is if they are starting to taste bitter.... We don't store ours in the freezer because we go through it too fast. The recipes are slightly different so if you try to follow a white bread recipe for whole wheat bread, you're going to have a bad time but follow a proper recipe and you (and your colon) will thank yourself later.
Edit: Also I refer to "store breads" a few times there. And by that i mean the stuff that comes in the plastic bags in the middle aisles. Some stores have actual bakeries that make real bread every day. That stuff is probably fine, and since the people that made it are there they can probably answer questions. And you should ask questions because even those bakeries are often just a facade and really get their bread shipped in like the shitty bread in the store. And sometimes when it gets shipped in it was made fresh the day before in a central warehouse and shipped out that day, which is probably fine. So ask questions lol