Watching your diet through documentaries

Alex Behunin, Reporter

Food documentaries have the power to educate viewers on what it is that they’re putting inside their bodies. It can be a little scary to realize all the processes most foods have to go through before it is served on your kitchen dishes. It’s even scarier when you notice the negative health effects of some foods. But in order to stay informed and aware of your diet, it’s worth spending some time watching documentaries on this subject. Here are six interesting, eye-opening and engaging food documentaries to watch:

“Super Size Me”

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. Spurlock soon found out there was an effect on his psychological and physical well-being. “Super Size Me” is known as the godfather of food documentaries as it was the first to break out into the mainstream. McDonalds discontinued the Super Size option after the film’s release.

“Food, Inc.”

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examined corporate farming in the United States and found disturbing truths about the packaging of food and abuse to the animals that the population eats. This is the film that many vegans talk about when asked why they changed their diet. It is a documentary that will force the viewer to think about the food they eat. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009.

“That Sugar Film”

Filmmaker Damon Gameau had not eaten sugar for three years and then he takes a page out of “Super Size Me” director Spurlock’s book and goes on a 60-day sugar diet. Gameau tends to only eat low-sugar food, only to find out that it’s not really low sugar. The documentary educates the viewer on all of the hidden sugars and its dangerous effects on people’s health.

“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”

Late renowned food journalist Anthony Bourdain travelled the world exploring different cultures and cuisine while uncovering unknown places. This docuseries won 12 Emmy awards for Outstanding Informational Series. The insight that Bourdain brought to the show is enjoyable and hooks the viewer. Not only do you learn about food, but you gain insight into the cultures of the places he travels to as well.

“Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”

When doctors tell Australian filmmaker Joe Cross that there isn’t anything they can do long-term to treat his obesity and chronic autoimmune disease, he decides to drink vegetable and fruit juice for 60 days while traveling across the United States. “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” is motivational, inspirational, educational and entertaining. The documentary does a fantastic job explaining what juicing is all about and why more people should try it.

Netflix produces some of the best docuseries out there, with “Rotten” being among them. This series dives deep into the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and real dangers behind your everyday eating habits. In each episode, the filmmakers break down certain food such as honey, peanuts and fish. There are two seasons, each consisting of six episodes. “Rotten” gets compared to “Food, Inc.” as it explicitly exposes the food industry, including the stuff we don’t want to know about our food.