Movies can be quite inspirational; in fact, a few have the power to stimulate real change in our lives. I've watched several documentary films about food in the last several months, and I've found them to be entertaining, interesting and inspirational. Here are a few you might want to watch.
Food, Inc.Synopsis (from the filmmakers): "In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. 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. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
"Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward-thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising and often shocking truths about what we eat, how it's produced, whom we have become as a nation and where we are going from here."
Why You Need to Watch: This is an intense, fantastic film. If you see only one movie, this is the one that will get you really thinking about the foods you eat. One word of caution: Eat before you watch the movie.
IngredientsSynopsis (from the filmmakers): "American food is in a state of crisis. Health, food costs and our environment are all in jeopardy. A movement to put good food back on the table is emerging. What began 30 years ago with chefs demanding better flavor, has inspired consumers to seek relationships with nearby farmers. This is local food. A feature-length documentary, Ingredients illustrates how people around the country are working to revitalize that connection. Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth, the film takes us across the U.S. from the diversified farms of the Hudson River and Willamette Valleys to the urban food deserts of Harlem and to the kitchens of celebrated chefs Alice Waters, Peter Hoffman and Greg Higgins. Ingredients is a journey that reveals the people behind the movement to bring good food back to the table and health back to our communities."
Why You Need to Watch: I would argue that this is the sequel to Food, Inc. It introduces viewers to the good food movement, including the concept of eating local foods.