Whether you’re working to be a more climate-conscious eater or you’ve simply always been fascinated by food (including where it comes from and how it impacts your body), adding a few healthy food documentaries to your need-to-watch list is a brilliant idea.
While food documentaries may not seem as entertaining as, say, Ted Lasso or Euphoria, you might be surprised how much there is to sink your teeth into as you jump into some top-rated options. Seriously: If you get a kick out of health and wellness trends, are intrigued by the idea of going vegetarian, or genuinely just want to learn more about the sustenance going into your body, they can be legitimately eye-opening. Of course, depending on the healthy food documentaries you choose, they can also be disturbing. But, you know what they say: Out of disturbance comes transformation. (Okay, maybe no one said that, but it’s true, no?) After all, thought-provoking documentaries hammer home the important concept that “what you don’t change, you choose,” and in the case of food, what you do and don’t choose to put into your mouth can have a real, lasting impact on your body and mind, as well as the environment.
And on that note, we figured it might be helpful to steer you in the right direction of what’s worth watching. So, without further ado, keep reading to uncover six of the best healthy food documentaries for all eaters to devour.
6 must-see healthy food documentaries
1. Super Size Me
The United States is known around the world for having issues with portion distortion, along with the unbelievably high amounts of added sugar and saturated fat made readily available to us by the fast food industry. To help make it more known to the American masses, Super Size Me debuted in 2004. The premise? The independent filmmaker behind the documentary, Morgan Spurlock, ate nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days. Unsurprisingly, the experiment had a tremendous impact on Spurlock’s physical health, as well as his mental health, ultimately showcasing the negative effects that the fast food industry has had in America, and hinting at why the United States’ food industry fuels health problems for many.
Stream Now: Super Size Me
2. Food, Inc.
Curious about food as well as all the ways in which access to it is impacted by large corporations and the government? Food, Inc., which premiered in 2009, gives viewers a peek inside America’s corporate-run food industry, highlighting just how unhealthy and environmentally unfriendly it is. It pinpoints everything from the farms themselves to the supermarkets and restaurants where the food ends up. The documentary even shines light onto the flawed FDA and food safety system. In short, by the end of Food, Inc., you likely find yourself reevaluating what’s in your fridge.
Stream Now: Food, Inc.
3. Forks Over Knives
As if Food, Inc. isn’t enough to make you want to consider a plant-based diet (based on the graphic details it reveals about factory farms), the 2011 food documentary Forks Over Knives certainly will. Focusing in on the chronic diseases that are a direct result of eating habits, Forks Over Knives makes a convincing case for following a more plant-based diet and keeping an eye on processed food consumption.
Stream Now: Forks Over Knives
4. Hungry for Change
One of the most important things to remember when embarking on a healthier lifestyle, according to dietitians, is just that: It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s this idea that propelled Hungry for Change into documentary stardom. The 2012 health food documentary puts emphasis on sugar consumption (comparing it to a drug), misguided food marketing, and the toxic diet industry at large. By calling out the very ways that weight loss companies keep consumers coming back for more, Hungry for Change aims to inspire and equip viewers with healthy lifestyle changes—*not* diets—that actually work.
Stream Now: Hungry for Change
5. Food Matters
At this point, it’s no secret that what we fuel our bodies with matters, and it’s this exact messaging that Food Matters wants to hammer home. The 2013 food documentary centers around Hippocrates’ idea of “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food.” In that way, the documentary emphasizes how highly-processed food—which is particularly common in America—is not doing our food system any favors. As such, if you’ve been searching for answers as to why a less-processed meal regime is linked to longevity, you should add this doc to your saved list ASAP.
Stream Now: Food Matters
6. Fed Up
Each and every year, health-conscious consumers (and filmmakers who identify as such) become more and more fed up with the corporate-run food industry. In 2014, it reached a point where Katie Couric and Oscar-winning product Laurie David wanted to do something about it. And so they debuted Fed Up, a food documentary that takes aim at the corporate food industry—specifically, how big businesses within it have influence over the government, which eventually trickles all the way down to the nutritiously-defunct food that ends up on the plates of millions of Americans each day. In short, the documentary touts itself as “the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see”—and that’s precisely why it’s so worth watching.
Stream Now: Fed Up
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