Food fights: local vs. industrial

I am now the happy owner of a (shared) Netflix account! Since this fateful day, I have been enjoying one of my favorite pastimes: documentaries. That’s not weird, right? Right. I love ’em all, but social and cultural documentaries surrounding food are my favorite. What can I say? I enjoy being told the obesity epidemic will end our children’s lives before ours, that vegan, ‘plant-based diets’ are the way to be, that local farms are suffering under big agri-business, and that driving your way around the country with a juicer in the back of your car is going to help change lives.


I recently watched Food Fight, made in 2008, this documentary promotes local, organic eating and sustainable agriculture by profiling chef Alice Water. Chef Water is an activist who lead Californians on a food adventure away from industrial, tasteless food and into clean, healthy, delicious meals. This hippie chef set out to find the most delicious ingredients available in her area, and “in the process of looking for taste [she] found organic farmers.”

Documentaries promoting sustainable agriculture, and local and organic food are being made because the obesity epidemic is now affecting 68% of American adults and over a third of American children, because members of the ag committee are collecting millions of dollars in subsidies from big business food companies while local farmers suffer, and because U.S. agriculture produces 4000 calories/person more than needed in one day. These activists want to educate the country on these issues.

Food documentaries are a part of food media that have become more popular because more and more citizens are seeing these problems too. Even when food documentaries such as Food Fight are slightly biased with sustainable ag experts and activists, they still benefit those who watch because you as the audience are now informed about these issues and can make an informed opinion about our food system.

Are there any other good food documentaries out there? Let me know!

NP 2/19


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