The culinary industry plays a massive part in our daily lives, but is easily overlooked. Still, it is a for-profit industry, meaning its interests aren’t always aligned with the interests of the public. Today’s list explores documentaries related to food, the industry that produces it, and the practices of the general public that contribute to certain issues.
Forks Over Knives
This film may sound like an instruction on proper table manners, but Forks Over Knives actually delves into the rising number of diabetic children: one of America’s most pressing long-term health issues. The blame lies in part on food companies who use sugar as a key ingredient in processing their products. The film isn’t shy about proposing drastic measures, such as giving up meat altogether.
If you’ve ever wondered how the food you eat is made, this may be the film for you. Upon viewing, however, you may have second thoughts about what you eat, and why. Food, Inc. uncovers details that many industries would rather keep hidden, including production methods that cut costs for companies but harm the consumers long-term. The film has sparked conversation, leading to some legislation changes in regards to how food is produced.
Fed Up is another documentary with similar topics in mind, but offers a broader focus on the politics driving the food industry. Food production is a big business, and thus has great influence over politics, particularly in the regulatory branches of government. The film is filled with both funny and infuriating details, such as the governmental regulation that pizza be counted as a vegetable, and is thus allowed to be served in school lunches.
That Sugar Film
This documentary film follows Damon Gameu in his attempt to determine what makes healthy food “healthy” in the first place. After three years without sugar, Gameu changes his diet to include only foods recommended as the “healthier” alternative to sugary foods. The film is a chronicle of that journey, discovering that often times the sugar-free options are actually less healthy in the long-term.
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Continuing the theme of food and its effect on the average American, this film follows a man in his effort to lose 100 pounds, simply by changing his diet and daily habits. Along the way, Joe Cross embarks on a cross-country trip to meet with other overweight Americans, discussing diet and the role food industries play in matters of public health. It is an engaging story, one that is both personal and political in nature.
Hungry for Change
Most of today’s list talks about the food industry in terms of losing weight and living a healthier life. Hungry for Change turns the mirror on itself, focusing on the work of the diet industry and the things it could do better. Oftentimes, “health food” is addictive in and of itself, causing the same types of problems that unhealthy food is known for.
Which films whet your appetite?