"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny."
- Thomas Jefferson
I'm a quarter Italian, but I'm 100% in love with food. Seriously, I'm obsessed with food. About a year ago, I really started to get into documentaries about food and agriculture after watching the Academy Award Winning film, Food Inc. Many people know about Food Inc., but in case you don't, it gives a very broad look into how industrialized and unnatural the food sector has become in the United States. The film covered a wide array of problems with the food system, but was only able to skim the surface on a few topics and I really wanted to know more.
Fortunately, Netflix recommended many similar movies to Food Inc. and each looked deeper into very specific food-related problems, and each one made me angrier at the system. I have many favorites, but I picked out my four favorite documentaries and I discuss the issues from each. I highly recommend you take a look at these, because knowledge is the only thing that will save us from the tyranny noted in Jefferson's quote above.
This one is near and dear to my heart since my home state of Vermont thrives on the success of small, organic family-run farms, more than probably any other state in the Union. However, the loopholes that these farms have to jump through to stay in business are absolutely astounding. Most of the farmers in this documentary have PhDs in their respective fields, are experts in their work and have written hundreds of papers and books on the subject. Yet they can all be destroyed simply because "the government says so." The film was created by a young mother whose was son healed from all allergies and asthma after consuming raw milk, and real food from local farms. It depicts people all over the country who formed food co-ops and private clubs to get these foods, and how they were raided by state and local governments.
GMO OMG (2013)
After attending the Green Festival in NYC for a few years in a row, I finally got up the audacity to do some research on GMOs, only to end up even more pissed off. As it turns out, the majority of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) serve no real function except to benefit the productivity levels of farmers, but could very well be the reason so many people are getting sick. This is likely the reason people all of a sudden have a low tolerance to gluten, and I personally think it’s these - not vaccines - that are causing children to develop autism. GMO OMG was created by a father who discovers all kinds of disturbing facts about GMOs with his three young children. Today in the United States, by the simple acts of feeding ourselves, we are unwittingly participating in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Each of us unknowingly consumes genetically engineered food on a daily basis. The risks and effects to our health and the environment are largely unknown. Yet more and more studies are being conducted around the world, which only provide even more reason for concern. We are the oblivious guinea pigs for wide-scale experimentation of modern biotechnology.
Fed Up (2014)
This one is particularly sad, mostly because it involves kids. Children born today are expected to die sooner than their parents thanks to a surge in childhood obesity and the
rise in type-2 diabetes among young kids. Fed Up was produced by several journalists at CNN who give a broad examination of the obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in causing it. So many reports on TV claim that obesity among children is entirely their own fault for not running around outside, playing sports, or simply playing outside with friends. The simple truth is, kids are being fed unhealthy EVERYTHING, most of the time at school in public-funded lunch programs. These programs have given up preparing healthy food and educating students on the necessity for health, and instead are subsidized by fast food and junk food companies.
Hungry for Change (2012)
This one is great for taking control of your own life: it exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don't want you to know about deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Diets simply do not work, I can attest to this, so instead the experts - nearly all of them have overcome obesity and have kept the weight off for good - explain how making small, gradual changes to your diet can cure a variety of ailments. This is a film produced by Food Matters - which has another great documentary all its own about how the government is hell-bent on keeping the public sick in order to make money from unnecessary medicine used to treat chronic disease.