Must-See Documentaries On The Food Industry

Above: 8 of our favourite food industry documentaries
Above: 8 of our favourite food industry documentaries

If there is one thing all human beings have in common, it’s food. Constantly rotating diet fads keep popping up, claiming to be the best way to stay healthy. Should you eat local? Organic? Gluten-free? What does any of it even mean? If you have a Netflix account, you know there is a huge selection of documentaries, and the food industry is a popular topic. There is a lot we don’t know about where our food is coming from, and how it gets to our favourite restaurants, and even our own fridge. Check out these must-see food industry documentaries, but take them all with a grain of salt, because after-all, everyone has an agenda.

Food Inc.

The Academy Award-nominated film from 2008, shows how the current industrial production procedures for meat and some produce is unsustainable, and in some cases, inhumane. The film reveals that the government is more concerned with profit and efficiency than they are with producing healthy food for public consumption. No surprise there, but it is still interesting to see the process the food goes through before making its way to the grocery store.

Farmageddon

This documentary from 2011, is a series of interviews with farmers who claim the government is full of roadblocks when it comes to food that is produced and sold locally. Sustainable farmers are targets for the FDA, if only because their way of doing things does not bring in millions for the government. Another example of how money and control is way more important to the government than the health of Americans.

More Than Honey

The possible extinction of bees has been a hot topic lately, and for good reason. Without bees around to pollinate, a lot of the produce that we eat would be a lot more difficult to grow. This documentary is indirectly about the food industry, in that it compares man-made food production methods to the natural ways of bees. It is worth a watch for a look at how important bees, and probably a lot of other insects, are to the future of mankind.

Forks Over Knives

If you are a vegan, or are interested in understanding veganism, than this is the film for you. It outlines how many of the degenerative diseases (like diabetes and cancer) that affect Western populations, can actually be prevented and controlled through a plant-based diet. Eating less animal-based and processed foods is the key to living a healthy life, and this documentary will tell you why.

Super Size Me

This is one of the food documentaries that put the genre on the map back in 2004. Filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, goes on a 30-day journey to find out what would happen to his body if he ate only McDonalds for every meal of every day. Needless to say, the results show what we already know – fast food is not very good for you. Still, it is worth a watch, just to see the details of how unhealthy food will affect every part of your body, and life. Then, if you want a rebuttal, check out Fat Head, for another guy’s experience with losing weight on a fast food diet.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

If you want a weekly wakeup call about the food industry, then celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver’s show Food Revolution is perfect. Oliver’s goal is to change the dietary offerings at schools, because creating healthy eating habits in children is the best way to fight the obesity epidemic. When you see the food schools are making available to children, you are guaranteed to make sure you pack your kids’ lunch every day.

King Corn

Two friends decide to get into the farming business, and find out what it takes to be a farmer. They discover that family farms have all but disappeared in favour of huge industrial-sized farms, to produce high amounts of corn. The film also focuses on the regulations the government has in place to control how corn is produced, in order to maximize profit. If nothing else, this film will educate you on how much corn there is in all the food you eat. It’s up to you to decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Dive!

You know by now how much food is produced every day. But what about how much food is going to waste? Director, Jeremy Seifert goes dumpster diving at various grocery stores to find out how much perfectly edible food is thrown out simply because it is one day past the expiry date. We have all be conditioned to follow expiry dates, when in reality, food probably lasts a lot longer than we think. You may not want to pick food out of the trash after watching this, but maybe you can still eat that yogurt that expired 3 days ago.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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