The Best Food Documentaries to Have On Your Netflix Queue
Interest in what we put into our bodies has hit a fever pitch, which can in part explain the explosion of food-related documentaries in recent years.
Among them is “Fed Up,” a new documentary that alleges the food industry has waged a 30-year campaign to mislead the public about the health and safety of its food, all with the help of the United States government. Narrated by Yahoo’s own Katie Couric, the film will debut April 29th at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival.
"The amount of attention paid to public health is minuscule compared to the amount of attention the government pays to promoting U.S. agriculture," Couric recently told USA Today. That lack of attention has changed the way we eat in this country, which she suggests has led to dire consequences for America’s children. “In 1980, zero kids had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It used to be considered adult-onset diabetes. And then by 2010 it was close to 57,000.”
"Fed Up" follows in the footsteps of other food-themed documentaries, many of which are informative appraisals of the food industry’s status quo. Others, though, are gorgeously-shot, mouth-watering opuses of food porn.
There’s a place for both types at the table. Here are a few that we advise adding to your Netflix queue pronto:
Narrated by food writer Michael Pollan and "Fast Food Nation" author Eric Schlosser, "Food, Inc." takes a hard look at the current state of American agribusiness. It isn’t pretty—food production on a mass scale is harmful to both animals and the people eating them, not to mention the environment. There’s a reason the film snagged an Academy Award nomination.
"Spinning Plates" turns the camera on three restaurants that couldn’t be more different from one another: a 150-year-old country restaurant, Breitbach’s Country Dining; an embattled roadside Mexican eatery in Tucson; and award-winning chef Grant Achatz’s elegant, theatrical Alinea in Chicago. It’s an intimate look at the hard work—and great food—that go into the making of a restaurant.
"More Than Honey"
"More Than Honey" attempts to answer why honey bee colonies around the world are collapsing, thereby threatening the world’s honey supply. Beautifully shot, this documentary will have you hankering for some of the sweet stuff by the credits.