The food industry is a big business. Many of us don't know the facts or environmental costs of how our food is produced, or what harm ingredients in that food can do to our bodies.
Documentaries are a powerful way to focus on such stories about the food industry (stories that are often hidden), to highlight the bigger truths about where our food comes from, and how it affects everything from our bodies to the environment, and even the future of human survival.
Here are our 6 top doco picks that will educate, inspire and give you insight into our food industries. They might even change the way you approach your diet...
The impact of livestock production on the planet is too often underestimated and overlooked. In fact, many environmental advocates are wary of even considering the enormous amount of greenhouse gases this industry creates because of the unrelenting power and influence of the animal agriculture industry. The makers of Cowspiracy, however, are not afraid to confront this momentous truth. Looking at the many ways that animal agriculture destroys the environment, this documentary is sure to change the way you look at your diet. You can stream the film online on the Cowspiracy website.
#2. Food Inc
Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. Food Inc. is not simply a documentary that exposes America's industrialised food system and its effect on the environment, health, economy and workers' rights. It's a campaign that encourages people to become actively involved in fighting for a healthier, fairer food supply. Watch it on Netflix Australia here or YouTube here.
#3. Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives opens our eyes to just how harmful the Western diet has become since convenient, highly processed 'junk' foods came on the scene, and the consumption of animal protein through various sources has been on the rise. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn is the man behind the world famous 'China Study', an impossible to ignore study that shows the scientific facts behind the diseases that are killing us fastest being directly related to our food intake across multiple decades. Stream the film online here.
#4. Fat, sick, and nearly dead
This inspiring documentary chronicles Australian Joe Cross's mission to regain his health. Morbidly overweight, and suffering from an autoimmune disease and a body full of steroids, Cross vows to only eat fruit and vegetable juices for 60 days whilst embarking on a 3,000 mile road trip across the US. He interviews more than 500 Americans about food, then meets a 429-pound truck driver with the same medical condition. The two connect and the end result is a beautiful film that will inspire you to make changes in your own life. This film highlights the power of the body's ability to heal itself when given the right foods (and when the wrong ones are kept out.) Watch online for free here or on Netflix Australia here.
#5. Vanishing of the Bees
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables. Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. Stream the film here.
#6. Waste Deep
Waste has an insidious, long-term impact on our environment, our wildlife and ultimately our own health. But how do we avoid it? In an age of excess consumption and a mindset of convenience-at-all-cost, is it possible to truly be waste free? This free-to-watch documentary from Sustainable Table shows how food and plastic waste can be avoided, drawing attention to much of the unnecessary packaging that is choking our lives, oceans and animals. It also gives an insight into the environmental and social impacts of our wasteful ways. Watch it for free here.