4 Must-see documentaries about nutrition and the American food industry


There is more interest in food these days than ever. If you like to know more about how our food is produced and how it effects our health and society, then these eye-opening documentaries are a must see! Actually all four documentaries are currently streaming on Netflix. If you don’t have a Netflix account yet, you can sign up for a one-month free trial period. That should be enough time to watch the following titles:

Food, Inc. (2008)

Food, Inc is an Academy Award-nominated documentary that examines corporate farming in the United States. The eye-opening facts show how American supply of food is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health. Director Robbert Kenner concludes that the agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, but also produced in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of animals and employees.

Kenner first examines the industrial production of meat and then provides interesting insights in the production of  grains and vegetables like corn and soybeans. The third section explores the economic and legal power, major  food companies and the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Now 8 years later you may wonder what has actually changed in the food industry. Well, you find some of the answers in the next documentary “food Chains” (2014).

Food Chains (2014)

Food Chains received several awards and was produced by Eric Schlosser and famous actress Eva Longoria. Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply. The documentary gives shocking insights in  the agricultural labor in the United States. It shows de working conditions of migrant farmworkers and how the fight for a better living. Certain farmworkers even go in hunger strike to force their employer to pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes they handpicked.

Food Matters (2008)

The Documentary Food Matters is based on interviews with leading health experts who reveal their insights on the best natural healing choices. After watching this film you know what’s is good for you, what works best in certain cases and what is actually bad for your health. The documentary cover topics like:

  • How to use food as medicine?
  • Is organic better?
  • The best way to use food for detox

Soul food junkies (2012)

Many of us enjoy foods that are based on tradition and culture, but may not be the healthiest choices. Soul Food Junkies explores the history and traditions of African American soul food. Soul food includes delicious but fatty foods right out of the black southern tradition . Director Byron Hurt has created and entertaining, hilarious, and thoroughly researched documentary that is worth to watch.

Byron Hurt grew up eating lots of soul food like scrambled eggs, buttered biscuits, fried pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and many more fatty foods. While attending college in Boston, Hurt began to change his relationship with food and altered his eating habits to his father’s chagrin, who took offense to Byron’s rejection of sausage and bacon served with breakfast.

The doc has all the elements of a compelling documentary: emotionally-engaging personal story, jaw-dropping statistics on health issues, humorous and candid interviews.

Soul food junkies was winner at both the Urbanworld Film Festival and the American Black Film Festival in 2012.

Sources: Foodchainfilms – ITVS – FoodMatters – Indiewire – Netflixreleases

Jim Coras
Hi, I'm a freelance writer living in Europe. I like to write about health, nutrition and workout routines. My passions are calisthenic workout routines and outdoor activities.