I’m pretty picky about the movies I watch, just because I don’t have a ton of patience for television. If I’m going to watch something, it must be good and worthy of my precious time. We don’t have cable, just Netflix and Amazon, so the selection is already narrowed down for me.
Over the years, I’ve become a huge fan of food documentaries. And over the years, there have been quite a few binge-worthy documentaries made about real food and the concerns with our current food production methods. Anyone who has the ability to watch these documentaries, should do so.
It can be difficult to know which documentaries are actually worthy of an hour or two of time, and which are not. Today, let’s narrow down the choices. I’m going to share my favorite food documentaries that I believe are in the “must-see” category.
I skipped my favorite things in May (because we’ve been traveling), so this post is a substitute with a movie-specific focus.
Must-See (Real) Food Documentaries
Most of the documentaries listed below are available on Netflix, Amazon (Prime), or can be rented from store rental kiosks. I’ve linked to the Amazon option below, just to give you an idea of what the documentary looks like.
1. Food, INC
Food, INC is the documentary that initially made me question everything I knew about food. Food, INC is an older documentary at this point (2009), but it’s still making a tremendous impact on people.
Fresh takes a look at our current food production methods and the alternative actions some farmers are taking to produce “better” food.
3. Fed Up
Narrated by Katie Couric, Fed Up focuses on the consequences of consuming sugar and processed food. This documentary is available for streaming on Netflix.
Farmageddon is a documentary all about milk, touching on the current milk production methods and raw milk.
5. Cooked (YouTube Trailer)
This is a Netflix exclusive series created and narrated by Michael Pollan (my real food hero). The four-part series explores how cooking transforms food. This series, based on Pollan’s book, is incredibly inspiring and beautifully filmed.
6. In Defense of Food (YouTube Trailer)
Also based on a Michael Pollan book, this documentary explores what exactly real food looks like. I absolutely love Pollan’s practical and realistic approach to eating real food. This documentary was originally a PBS special and appears to only be available on Netflix.
Sustainable is a new documentary that explores how to eat real food in the midst of a processed, overly-industrialized food system. This documentary even takes a look at ancient grains, like einkorn and spelt.
Do you have a favorite food documentary? I want to hear about your favorite.
Kristin, I was wondering if you could recommend any books/audiobooks that touch on similar topics as the documentaries you’ve shared above. I am looking for real food, natural living books or audiobooks that will help me on my new journey of real food and living more naturally. Thanks!
Hey Melanie, I just added a “must-read food books” idea to my calendar the other day. I love that you just requested that! I’m pulling together a list and will post it here, as a follow-up comment, shortly for you. I just want to brainstorm first to make sure I don’t forget any good ones.
Great, thanks Kristin! Can’t wait for some recommendations.
Working on it this week, Melanie ;).
Sugar coated and What’s Up with Wheat are awesome! And both are on Netflix
Thank you, Leah!
Sugar coated on Netflix. The first food documentary that I ever watched. It takes a look how the food industry has saturated food with sugar but still label it as healthy.
Thank you for sharing, Shannon! I’ll be sure to look it up.
Water & Power: A California Heist by Nat Geo was very enlightening. I haven’t bought any almonds since seeing it. Lol.
Thank you, Katie! Adding it to my queue.
Great! I would love your opinion on it. I feel like there is this dark-side to the natural/organic foods movement which we need to consider too. Pure capitalist that just see it as a new way of making lots of money. They don’t care about people or the planet, just the money. I don’t think the early pioneers, which go way back farther than we realize, thought this way. They just truly cared about the welfare of the planet and all its inhabinants. I will end it there. Lol. Thanks for the recommendations, Kristin.
I agree, Katie! Organics has become a big business for many companies that’s purely motivated by the market shift versus the desire to provide better food. I’ll definitely let you know what I think of it.
I’m so excited about this post!!! I just had a a baby and I like to have something to do while nursing or even just relaxing at night. Thanks for posting! Ps have you ever thought of getting a comment system that notifies us when you reply? You’re always so sweet with your responses but I don’t think I ever get notified when you respond to a comment… I usually just check back!
What great timing, Tierney! Congrats, Mama!
Thank you for the comment notification suggestion. We had something like this set up a couple of years ago, and I’m not sure why it’s not available anymore. I’m going to talk to Dustin about setting something like this up for the comments!
We just watched ‘What the Health’ last night and it was really good! But in defense of food is still my favorite!!
Thank you for sharing, Tiffany! I watched a few minutes of it, but haven’t had a chance to finish. With the way it started–talking about the issues with processed CAFO meats and dairy, I’m hoping the film also talks about quality, pastured meats and dairy from smaller farms wanting to make a difference and get back to the way this kind of food should be.