Rotten documentary

Documentaries such as Rotten explore the realities of the American food supply chain. 

Maybe you've seen a Facebook post — or 20 — decrying the state of the meat industry. Maybe a good friend of yours only eats organic foods. Maybe you've read a recent article explaining why GMOs are backed by science. 

Point is, you know the buzz around the food industry, and you know not all of it is good news. Television series and reality shows appreciating the brighter side of gastronomy are still gaining attention on streaming services, but in recent years more and more documentaries that depict concerns over food safety are popping up.

These documentaries won't always claim to be objective, but they will give you a deep look at the viewpoints heating up the debate around overconsumption and public health. If you're ready to take a hard look at the food you eat, dive into these five recent films.

Fed Up

Release year: 2014

Director Stephanie Soechtig and journalist Katie Couric uncover the horror behind the food devastating the country’s public health status. Per the film's reporting, the relentless addition of sugar in food is a tacit conspiracy, spurred on by food manufacturers to encourage overconsumption (and therefore earn the industry more money). Long-shrouded secrets reveal that there are many more to blame for the nation's crisis than previously thought. 

Steam now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more. 

Food Choices

Release year: 2016

You might expect this didactic documentary to try to convince you to become vegan, but filmmaker Michal Siewierski broaches this controversy in an evenhanded way. Although critics say the film advocates plant-based diets, the documentary focuses more-so on the myth of particular extreme diets, in the hope that consumers might better contemplate what they choose to eat. 

Steam now on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more. 

Rotten

Release year: 2018

Netflix’s documentary series explores different industries within the country’s food system, breaking down into honey, peanuts, garlic, poultry, dairy and fish products. The film tackles issues such as food hygiene and sustainable production against the backdrop of globalization and mass production. 

Steam now on Netflix

Cowspiracy

Release year: 2014

With its self-explanatory title, this film, created by environmentalist Kip Andersen in an incisive way, audaciously points out animal husbandry as the culprit for environmental deterioration. Although some might render his conclusion as a vegan’s bias, the documentary’s disquieting vision is nevertheless stirring — and packed with important questions. 

Steam now on Netflix

Food Evolution

Release year: 2016

The documentary is even more contentious than the topic it discusses: genetically modified foods. The film gives both sides of the argument ample opportunities to explain why they support or oppose GMOs, while warning that people’s virulent rejection of science will give rise to a world that is hollow and contradictory.

Steam now on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more. 

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