I believe that it is immensely important that we know where our food comes from. Not only is it in our best interest, but it’s our right! These five documentaries listed below, which are all available on Netflix, provide a quality starting point for learning about food production and consumption in the U.S.
Check them out and be sure to let me know about some of your favorite food and agriculture documentaries in the comment section below!
GMO OMG (dir. Jeremy Seifert, 2013)
In GMO OMG father and filmmaker Jeremy Seifert investigates GMOs: what are they, what do we know about them, and how is our government involved with the protection of huge agricultural businesses such as Monsanto? Even if you know about GMO’s and steer clear of them already, Seifert’s critical examination of GMO’s and “big ag” is interesting and powerful. And his kids are super cute!
Food Inc. (dir. Robert Kenner, 2008)
I think of Food Inc. as the ultimate documentary about food in the United States. From plant-agriculture, to factory farming, big ag, fast food, organic farming, politics, animal welfare, health, poverty, worker exploitation, and beyond – Food Inc. engages with every level of the American industrial food system. What you’ll discover is absolutely alarming, but the truth of the matter is, we can make a difference and change the status quo.
Forks Over Knives (dir. Lee Fulkerson, 2011)
Forks Over Knives makes a case for following a plant-based diet, which I eventually chose to transition to myself after watching the film. Even if you decide that going plant-based isn’t for you, Forks Over Knives provides viewers with the tools to understand what is really healthy, versus what profit-seeking mega-corporations want us to believe is good for us.
Super Size Me (dir. Morgan Spurlock, 2004)
Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me was the first food documentary I ever saw, and after watching it for the first time I immediately stopped eating conventional fast food. I was only 13 years old and hadn’t become a vegetarian yet, so McDonalds and other fast food restaurants were a part of my diet at the time. I credit Super Size Me for igniting my interest in food production at a young age, and I think it remains an essential food documentary to this day.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (dir. Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn, 2014)
Cowspiracy explores the devastating effects animal agriculture has had on our environment, and will continue to have if we don’t do something. Another vegan-leaning doc, Cowspiracy explains that by using and consuming animal products (especially to the degree that we consume in the U.S.), we are rapidly destroying our planet. In the film, cattle rancher turned vegan Howard Lyman declares: “You can’t call yourself an environmentalist and eat meat. Period.”
What are some of your favorite food and agriculture documentaries?