How a slice of hip-hop is being used to change the way we view food

Eye-opening documentary to show the link between food choice, health, poverty and systemic racism.

Forget a portion of fries with your burger, and get ready for a dollop of hip-hop instead.

And while you’re at it, you may want to switch that meat patty to a non-animal alternative.

While music and veganism may sound like an unusual marriage, thanks to US-based influencer John Lewis, he is uniting them in a new documentary to talk about the links between food choice, health, poverty and systemic racism.

[Credit: Deryn Macey]

John, known as The Badass Vegan, is taking centre stage to narrate They’re Trying To Kill Us while also calling on a host of rap stars – including Mýa, Ne-Yo, Professor Griff and Styles P – to quiz them on food injustice, race, Big Pharma and factory farming.


Promoting the film on a recent podcast episode of Factual America, John explained how he grew up as an overweight kid in the violence of Ferguson, Missouri, before weighing in at 23st at a very young age as a consequence of eating processed foods.

Thanks to turning to veganism and plant-based nutrition, he dramatically changed his life to become a prominent health and wellness advocate who now explores food inequality.

While he is managing expectations about the whole world going vegan, John does believe the importance of overturning the current system to wipe out the imbalance of how people eat depending on where they grow up and their household income.

John said: “The only way that things are going to get better is for the silence to stop.

“When you see something wrong, if you don’t say anything, you are part of the problem. At the end of the day, that will always be true because you enabled that to keep going.”

[Credit: Creatv Eight]

He continued: “So, a lot of people always say that the racial divide is an imaginary divide, and that’s interesting because people are still dying because of this imaginary divide.

“They think that being silent or ignoring things will make them go away, but you need to take action and acknowledge the problem, so you don’t have to go back there again.

“There are better solutions for helping people besides medication, and it starts with breaking unhealthy habits.”

John believes the link between race and poor nutrition is creating a state of emergency when it comes to health, as people with unequal access to quality products are buying ingredients with no nutritional value and often unaware of their consequences.

This leads to a disparity in how people can reach their optimum health as those from poorer backgrounds go on to experience a higher rate of mental and physical issues.

The documentary, co-directed by Keegan Kuhn who worked on eye-opening docs What The Health and Cowspiracy, now hopes to empower people from underserved communities so they can better understand the link between food choice and health.


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