Top 10 Documentaries on Food, Health & Agriculture
What food is good for my health? What food is good for my family? What food is good for a sustainable world? How is our food produced? If any of these questions seem intriguing then I think you will enjoy this post.
Over the past few years I have been on the search to explore these questions and in the process I’ve discovered some powerful books and documentaries that shed light on the latest research on this topic. This area of the film world is definitely full of controversy with many of the films contradicting each other in terms of what is “good” and what is “bad.” It is understandable that in the midst of this frantic world we don’t all have the time to research this subject to work out the good from bad and if you’re short on time, my most easily-digestible recommendation for eating well would be to pickup a copy of Michael Pollan’s – Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual – Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. (I’m not saying it’s the answer, but this book offers ‘a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely.’)
Here is our list of the Top 10 Documentaries on Food, Health & Agriculture
PLANEAT is the story of three men’s life-long search for a diet, which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet. With an additional cast of pioneering chefs and some of the best cooking you have ever seen, the scientists and doctors in the film present a convincing case for the West to re-examine its love affair with meat and dairy. The film features the ground-breaking work of Dr. T Colin Campbell in China exploring the link between diet and disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s use of diet to treat heart disease patients, and Professor Gidon Eshel’s investigations into how our food choices contribute to global warming, land use and oceanic deadzones.
With the help of some innovative farmers and chefs, PLANEAT shows how the problems we face today can be solved, without simply resorting to a diet of lentils and lettuce leaves.
2. Food Inc.
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on the USA’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
3. BBC Horizon
Sugar V Fat – What’s worse for us: sugar or fat? To answer the hottest question in nutrition, twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken go on month long high-fat and high-sugar diets. The effects on their bodies are shocking and surprising. But they also discover that in the debate about fat and sugar, the real enemy might have been hiding in plain sight.
Should I Eat Meat? – The Big Health Dilemma – Dr Michael Mosley seeks to establish the truth about meat. Are those barbecue favourites like burgers and sausages really that bad? Should we all go vegetarian instead? Michael uncovers the latest science and puts it to the test on a high-meat diet. Will eating beef and bacon every day be bad for him? What meat should a healthy carnivore be buying?
Should I Eat Meat? – How to Feed the Planet – Dr Michael Mosley examines the impact eating meat has on the planet and finds out what meat eco-friendly carnivores should be buying: free-range organic or factory-farmed meat.
4. Fed Up
Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
5. Food Matters
With nutritionally-depleted foods, chemical additives and our tendency to rely upon pharmaceutical drugs to treat what’s wrong with our malnourished bodies, it’s no wonder that modern society is getting sicker. Food Matters sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide ‘sickness industry’ and gives people some scientifically verifiable solutions for overcoming illness naturally.
The focus of the film is in helping us rethink the belief systems fed to us by our modern medical and health care establishments. The interviewees point out that not every problem requires costly, major medical attention and reveal many alternative therapies that can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than conventional medical treatments.
6. Genetic Roulette - The Gamble Of Our Lives
Never-Before-Seen-Evidence points to genetically engineered foods as a major contributor to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn.
Monsanto’s strong arm tactics, the FDA’s fraudulent policies, and how the USDA ignores a growing health emergency are also laid bare. This sometimes shocking film may change your diet, help you protect your family, and accelerate the consumer tipping point against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Don’t miss this film!
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.
8. Trust Me Im A Doctor
Michael Mosley and a team of medical experts reveal answers to everything you ever wanted to know about colds, sleep, stress, headaches, hearts, sun-creams, exercise, vitamins and much more.
At the focal point of this movement, and of this film, are the farmers and chefs who are creating a truly sustainable food system. Their collaborative work has resulted in great tasting food and an explosion of consumer awareness about the benefits of eating local.
Attention being paid to the local food movement comes at a time when the failings of our current industrialized food system are becoming all too clear. For the first time in history, our children’s generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than our own. The quality, taste and nutritional value of the food we eat has dropped sharply over the last fifty years. Shipped from ever-greater distances, we have literally lost sight of where our food comes from and in the process we’ve lost a vital connection to our local community and to our health.
10. King Corn
King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In the film, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm.
Of course there are many more films on this topic and if you have watched one which has had a strong impact on your eating habits please post in the comments section underneath as we would love to hear what you have to say!