Food activists like Michael Pollan have brought much awareness to the previously unpondered question of food. Before, going to the supermarket might have brought questions like “are we out of milk?” Now food brings up more complicated issues, from worries of environmentally sustainable production to climate change. Here are ten great documentaries that investigate all aspects of eating green, from agri-business, to obesity, questions of organic vs. non, the global food system, and more.
Food, Inc. (2008)
- Warning! Don’t watch Food, Inc. if you were planning on grabbing a hamburger for dinner. This award-winning documentary investigates factory farming in both the meat and vegetable sectors. Learn how food travels from the farm to your table and the effects corporate farms have on the environment, animals, and your health.
- Food, Inc. Trailer
King Corn (2007)
- In this documentary, two college buddies, Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis, move from Boston to Iowa and decide to grow an acre of corn. On their quest the two learn all about the American food system and the huge role corn has come to play in it.
- King Corn Trailer
The Future of Food (2004)
- The Future of Food investigates the impact of genetically engineered food on health and the environment. After exploring the role of genetically modified food in the global food market, the film questions the real cost of making and bringing GM food to market.
- The Future of Food Trailer
Killer at Large (2008)
- As obesity rates continue to climb, Bryan Young decides to investigate what exactly is making America so fat. Young learns that obesity is inextricably linked to public policy, as well as the rise of industrial farms. On his quest, he uncovers unexpected places where bad food choices begin, like the military and school lunchrooms.
- Killer at Large Trailer
Our Daily Bread (2005)
- This quiet film shows viewers the places where food is produced. From huge fields to huge industrial machines, you can get a glimpse of food’s secret beginnings. The film’s lack of commentary gives an artful air to the piece and lets viewers form their own opinions about what they’re seeing.
- Our Daily Bread Trailer
We Feed the World (2005)
- From corporate executives to long-distance truckers, We Feed the World interviews people in all aspects of the food industry. The result is a global picture of the people impacted by food production and the industry’s affect not only on the environment, but on the humans involved.
- We Feed the World Trailer
Meat the Truth (2008)
- Meat the Truth investigates one aspect of climate change that has been repeatedly ignored: the environmental impact of raising animals for food. The film sheds light on exactly how detrimental raising livestock is; it generates more greenhouse gases that all your transit –cars, boats, planes– combined.
- Meat the Truth Trailer
- Not for the faint of heart, Earthlings aims to show the interconnectedness of humans and animals and the effects of our utter economic dependence on them. The film takes viewers inside factory farms and puppy mills to bring them face to face with the gruesome reality.
- Earthlings Trailer
Food Fight (2009)
- Food Fight gives an historical look at the rise of corporate farming in the 20th century. As agri-business increased in power, a food counterculture also emerged. This group, led by Alice Waters, strove to access food outside of corporate production, and a new food culture was born.
- Food Fight Trailer
Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution (2008)
- This French film follows an unusual experiment in a small French town: the town’s mayor has mandated that all school lunches will be organic. The film follows the practical problems of taking a stand against a powerful industry and the benefits of turning to food that is grown without pesticides and fertilizers.
- Food Beware Clip