Building a culture of wellness for your family and friends takes a lot of hard work and inspiration. The following are powerful documentaries that provide insight into our current food environment while highlighting the bigger truths about where our food comes from and how it affects everything from our health to the environment.
Fed Up (2014)
Starring: Maggie Valentine, Brady Kluge, Wesley Randall
For the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
Forks Over Knives (2011)
Starring: Joey Aucoin, Neal Barnard, Gene Baur
Documentary filmmaker Lee Fulkerson explores the possibility that so-called “diseases of affluence,” such as heart disease, can be reversed by simply adjusting our diets to include less processed and animal-based foods. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at Cleveland Clinic, discovered that many of the diseases he was seeing in patients were practically nonexistent in areas of the world where people were primarily consuming plant foods. Several subsequent investigations, including a groundbreaking study in China by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, led them to the revelation that a whole-food, plant-based diet could prevent, and even reverse, such degenerative conditions as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2011)
Starring: Joe Cross
Overweight Australian filmmaker Joe Cross attempts to wrestle back control of his failing health during a cross-country trek in which he engages everyday Americans in discussions about food and obesity in this lighthearted documentary addressing a deadly serious subject. Clocking in at 310 pounds and pumped full of steroids to battle a debilitating autoimmune disorder, Cross realized that he would soon be dead if he didn’t make some major lifestyle changes. But pharmaceuticals were only treating his symptoms, and no doctor seemed capable of providing the long-term care and support it would take to turn his life around. Desperate, Cross loads up his car with a juicer and a generator, and pledges to survive on nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days. Cross attempts to prove just how empowering it can be to take responsibility for our own health.
Food, Inc. (2009)
Starring: Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Joe Salatin
In “Food, Inc.,” filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that’s 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, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of e coli–the harmful bacteria that cause 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
Super Size Me (2004)
Starring: Morgan Spurlock, Dr. Daryl Isaacs, Alexandra Jamieson
What would happen if you ate nothing but fast food for an entire month? Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock does just that and embarks on the most perilous journey of his life. The rules? For 30 days he can’t eat or drink anything that isn’t on McDonald’s menu; he must wolf three squares a day; he must consume everything on the menu at least once and supersize his meal if asked. Spurlock treks across the country interviewing a host of experts on fast food and an equal number of regular folk while chowing down at the Golden Arches. Spurlock’s grueling drive-through diet spirals him into a physical and emotional metamorphosis that will make you think twice about picking up another Big Mac.