Up until recently, I never really thought about what I was eating; I ate for taste, enjoyment, and I devoured what I craved. In my early twenties I discovered some outstanding food documentaries which opened my eyes to the reality of the food and beverage industries. Needless to say my diet has changed: I transformed from a meat-loving omnivore to a vegan. It all started with educating myself via documentaries.
Back in our great-grandparents' time, there was no such thing as fast food. Instead of fast food restaurants, microwave meals, and frozen food our older relatives had farmers' markets, local grocery stores, and possibly their own gardens. These days, we are working harder jobs, longer hours, and have less time to think about how we're going to put together a meal, let alone grow our own food. But whether you want to be a vegetarian or a vegan or not (because those nutrition plans aren't the only way to be healthy, of course), knowing exactly what you're putting in your body is always a good idea and can only help to make us happier and healthier at the end of the day. To really discover what's going on in the food and drink industries, educate yourself with these documentaries to fully understand what you're putting into your body.
1. Food, Inc.
The Food, Inc. website describes the Food, Inc. documentary film stating, "Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment." This striking documentary looks into the truth behind America's food industry and delves into what the commercial food industry has hidden for so long. Food, Inc. could change the way you consume food, both what you eat and where you buy it from. It's available to rent or buy and stream via Amazon Video and stream via Netflix.
2. Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives looks at the Western diet; in particular how the consumption of processed foods and animal-derived foods has had a shockingly detrimental impact to those who consume it. This impactful documentary also shows examples of people who have healed themselves by adopting healthier diets which contain more plant based foods. Forks Over Knives is available to watch on Netflix.
3. Fed Up
Fed Up discusses the health issues concerning the staggering amount of food products in America which contain added sugar, along with the common diseases associated with consuming too much of the white stuff. Brought to you by Laurie David, the producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Fed Up is available to stream on Netflix.
4. Super Size Me
Back in 2004, Morgan Spurlock acted as a test pilot for trying out a diet consisting solely of McDonald's. During his month long experiment, he worked with health professionals to log the effects his new diet had on his body. Spurlock is an entertaining – and IMO very brave – test subject and whenever he is offered to Super Size his meal, he must oblige. Spurlock's misadventure into the world of a McDonald's diet is available to watch on Netflix, but be warned you might never be able to stomach a Big Mac again!
5. GMO OMG
If, like the people featured in this trailer, you also have no idea what a GMO is, you really need to watch GMO OMG. According to this startling documentary, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are everywhere , but we just don't realize it. GMO OMG will probably make you think twice about what types of foods you are purchasing and perhaps opt for organic produce wherever possible. Check it out on Netflix, but make sure you're munching on some organic snacks, or you might go to bed hungry.
6. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret discusses what no-one else wants to talk about: the impact animal agriculture has on the environment. As a small insight, the Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret website states, "Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill." Which I found absolutely astounding. So why hadn't any of the environmental organizations of the world brought this to the attention of the general public? You'll have to watch and find out. It's available to stream on Netflix, so grab your nearest and dearest and get ready to re-think your food choices.
We're all responsible for taking control of our diets and living healthy lifestyles, but we're also responsible for the impact we're having on the planet and on other sentient beings. Hopefully these documentaries will give you a taste of the truth of where your food comes from and how it affects you.