FEEDING FRENZY - 12 DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT FOOD

FEEDING FRENZY - 12 DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT FOOD
FEEDING FRENZY - 12 DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT FOOD FEEDING FRENZY - 12 DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT FOOD

Once again, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has proclaimed Colorado the most fit state.

No one is exactly sure why only 20.7% of us fall into the "obese" category (obesity is defined as having a BMI equal to or above 30). It could be the absence of Southern cooking, our fondness for hiking and biking, or our participation in the Farm to School program.

Or maybe it's because we watch a lot of documentaries from the Denver Public Library about the perils of fast, processed and unhealthy food. Below is a list of some recent movies that you can watch while eating a small serving of butterless popcorn.

Hungry for Change (2012) Watch this and you'll learn that high fructose corn syrup isn't the innocent ingredient that the commercials portray, MSG is hidden in 80% of our foods, and Aspartame has some truly frightening side effects. Practical solutions and alternatives are offered in this engaging film.

King Corn (2008) College buddies Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis move to Iowa to raise an acre of corn and learn all about this government subsidized crop that drives the fast food industry. With the help of their neighbors, they plant genetically modified seeds, apply lots of herbicides and follow the alarming journey of their yield.

Super Size Me (2004) Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who was rejected from the USC film school five times, won Best Director award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival for filming what happens when you eat exclusively at MacDonald's for thirty days. The effects were swift and dramatic - his weight and cholesterol rate climbed, while his libido plummeted. His doctor warned him to stop before there was permanent damage. Most of the film, though, is about how McDonald's inserts itself into our children's diet.

Fresh (2011) Director Ana Joanes outlines the problems with our food system and travels cross-country interviewing experts, including the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan. Feasible alternatives are explored, such as the grocery store chain in Kansas City that supports local farms, or starting your own backyard garden. Although generally uplifting, the film also offers disturbing images from a chicken farm.

Food, Inc. (2009) Did you know that in Colorado "veggie libel laws" make it a felony to criticize the food industry's food? Directed by Robert Kenner, this film explains the politics of food production and how the FDA and USDA allow big business to put profit before the health of consumers, the American farmer and the environment.

Processed People (2009) Only 40 minutes long, this movie features interviews with 9 experts on how processed foods have led to disturbing health trends in our country, particularly obesity, diabetes and over-medication. Before and after success stories and pictures illustrate the benefits of  a plant-based diet.

The Future of Food (2004) Approximately 75% of the processed food in the U.S. has GMOs (genetically modified organisms), but we don't know for sure because seed and biotech companies spend billions in lobbying efforts and campaign donations to influence our regulatory agencies. Monsanto and others routinely sue farmers for patent infringement when their product blows onto neighboring farms.

Killer at Large (2009) The source of the obesity epidemic is traced all the way back to the African Savannah of 4 million years ago, when we hunted and gathered, right on up to the toxic food environment of today. A sobering look at the problem, which inspired former Surgeon General Richard Carmona to comment, “Obesity is a terror within. It is destroying our society from within and unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event that you can point out.” While making his film (which cost only $300,000), Bryan Young lost 10 pounds the first month by not eating fast food for lunch.

Weight of the Nation (2012) HBO took three years to produce this series that focuses on the reasons for and consequences of the obesity epidemic in our nation. Insidious junk food ads aimed at kids, the over-abundance of cheap, processed foods and ways to combat this serious (and expensive) trend are discussed.

Food Stamped (2011) First time filmmakers try to eat healthy on a food stamp budget (about $1.00 per meal) and learn why the economically disadvantaged turn to cheap and filling options such as fast food, noodles and white bread. Both entertaining and insightful, the film shows the challenges of finding nutritional food in food "deserts" and some possible solutions (see trailer below.)

Comments

I would also suggest Food Matters and Forks Over Knives!

Thanks, Jessica. The library carries both of those titles. I was surprised by the number of documentaries on this subject!

I want one of them square tomatoes. If all healthy food was rigorously geometrical, why would we ever need pizza or Velveeta?

Ideally, there should be an accepted standard. If bread is square, then yes, we want square tomatoes. But we also have to think about hamburgers, for instance. If they can put a man on the moon can't all of our sandwich ingredients be the same shape?

You can have square eggs!

Well, that doesn't sound very pleasant for the chicken.

That is the greatest carrot picture ever! Did you grow them?

No, I didn't grow them; my dog, who is a carrot fiend, would just dig them up. I borrowed the picture from Google Images.

I also love these types of shows - thanks for a couple new ones. Here are a few more:

The Real Dirt on Farmer John
The Garden
Dirt! the Movie
The World According to Monsanto

Who knew there were so many great documentaries about the dangers of eating, and DPL has them all!

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