“Food Inc.” and “Supersize Me” have long been on the food activists’ “to watch” list, excellent forays into our food system and its effects. Fortunately, they’re not the only two out there. If you’re looking for films tackling questions of food in our modern day society, there are plenty to choose from.
Care about food issues? Then you should definitely pop a few of these recent films on your list of documentaries to watch.
1. Fed Up
One of the newest films to add to the food documentary list is Fed Up, which recently hit theaters in early May. Through the lens of childhood obesity, the documentary takes a look at all of the things that we have been told over the last 30 years about food and exercise and sets out to show how wrong all of it has been.
With some big names on its advisory board (like Maria Rodale and Anthony Bourdain), this could in fact be the food documentary of the year. And the film’s team doesn’t just want you to watch their piece; they want you to take action — along with the film, there is a campaign to eat sugar free for 10 days.
2. Terra Firma
Terra Firma is a film about the power of farming to heal, profiling three female farmers who served in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. In fact, since 2001, more than 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror, and many of them return with severe PTSD, unable to cope with everyday life. But for the three women profiled, farming was a way for them to deal with pain, finding that organic and sustainable farming gives them not only purpose but a new way to serve their community, and their country, by growing food.
3. Food Chains
While we’re interested in where our food comes from, unfortunately we’re not always as interested about who is picking it. Food Chains aims to raise that awareness, making the connection between the food that we consume and the abuses endured by modern day farmworkers.
According to Farm Chains, “Women are harassed and sometimes raped. Men can pick 4,000 pounds of fruit over a 10-hour day, piece by piece in 98 degree weather, and receive paychecks for one third or one fourth the federal minimum wage. Over 1,200 farmworkers have been freed from slavery – in Florida – between 2005 and 2012 – actual, modern-day slavery.” You can take action against these abuses by visiting the Food Chains website.
4. Food Mythbusters
Launched by Anna Lappé, “Food Mythbusters“ is an online series of films meant to uncover the truth about what we eat. The latest tackles the question of big food marketing and advertising, asking the question: “is junk food what we really crave?” The short films are available online and easy to share, the perfect part of any food activist’s toolkit.
5. A Place at the Table
By the same people behind “Food Inc.,” “A Place at the Table” is a film about the severe hunger problem in the United States. 50 million Americans, 1 out of 4 children, don’t know where their next meal comes from, and it’s not because of a food shortage. The documentary profiles three Americans struggling to put food on the table, as well as providing insight on what we need to do to solve the issue of hunger.
6. Symphony of Soil
Yes, “Symphony of Soil” is a film all about dirt. In fact, it’s an artistic exploration of soil, an organic matter that is essential to our existence, and where all of our food comes from. Taking a look at our relationship with soil, the film explores the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, as well as the latest scientific research on soil’s role in helping us deal with the most challenging environmental issues of our time.
7. Edible City
What does it look like when individuals take the issue of a broken food system into their own hands? They start growing food, no matter where they are. “Edible City” profiles urban farmers in the Bay Area and their grass-roots solutions based on growing local food systems and economies. If you have a thing for parking-lot gardens, this film is for you.
Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks