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FITNESS GOOP: A dozen must-see food films

Documentaries have always been an effective method used by filmmakers to shed light on subjects that may otherwise go unnoticed. In recent years, as the real food movement builds momentum, many critically acclaimed documentaries have been produced.

Documentaries have always been an effective method used by filmmakers to shed light on subjects that may otherwise go unnoticed. In recent years, as the real food movement builds momentum, many critically acclaimed documentaries have been produced. With the ever-increasing number of food docs on the shelves, I thought it was time to take a moment to put together my Top 12 must-see food films.

1. Dirt (2009): Briefly focusing on the shortcomings and flaws in our agricultural methods, Dirt allows viewers to better understand how our food grows and the importance of healthy soil. Vegetation gathers nutrients from the soil and we either eat the vegetation, or animals which have eaten it. If soil becomes depleted or toxic, so does our diet.

2. Simply Raw (2009): Simply Raw follows a group of diabetics as they participate in an experimental raw food retreat for 30 days. The results experienced by all the individuals in the study are exceptionally powerful.

3. Fresh (2009): This film touches again on many issues of industrialized food production. Although some scenes are obviously difficult to watch, Fresh places an uplifting emphasis on how consumers can use their buying power to help reshape our agricultural system.

4. Food Inc. (2008): This doc exposes Americas industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy and workers rights. While exploring current food production methods, filmmakers reveal the incredible power, domination and control a handful of corporations hold over consumers.

5. The Future of Food (2004): With a heavy focus on the potential impacts of genetically modified foods, this film touches on key topics within political, agricultural and social issues surrounding the industrialization of our agriculture system.

6. Food Matters (2008): The focus of the film is helping us rethink the belief systems fed to us by modern medical and health care establishments. The interviewees point out that not every problem requires costly, major medical attention and reveal many alternative therapies that can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than conventional medical treatments.

7. Supersize Me (2004): This film takes another 30-day exploration of the impact food has on our health. However, in Supersize Me, rather than switching to a healthy diet, Martin Spurlock goes on a 100 % McDonalds diet to see what effect fast food really has on our physical body.

8. Whats on Your Plate? (2009): This doc explores many of the same social, economical, environmental and health problems caused by our food system, but looks at these things through the eyes of children. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain.

9. King Corn (2007): A pair of best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbours, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of Americas most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.

10. Tableland (2007): Tableland is a culinary expedition in search of the people, places and taste of North American small-scale, sustainable food production. From B.C. to Quebec, Tableland showcases the successful production of tasty, local and seasonal food from field to plate.

11. Our Daily Bread (2005): This is an almost silent film taking you deep into the distressing world of industrialized farming. Although often quite disturbing, this is a powerful film that opens your eyes to what is truly going on behind the closed doors of our mainstream agricultural practices.

12. Fast Food Nation (2006): Fast Food Nation takes a slightly different approach in examining the social, environmental and economic impact of our current agriculture system. This film uses a slightly satirical and fictional storyline to shed some light on very real issues of exploitation occurring every day.

Rich Ralph for

Documentaries have always been an effective method used by filmmakers to shed some light on subjects that may otherwise go unnoticed. In recent years, as the real food movement builds momentum, many critically acclaimed documentaries have been produced. With the ever-increasing number of food docs on the shelves, I thought it was time to take a moment to put together my Top 12 must-see food films.

1. Dirt (2009): Briefly focusing on the shortcomings and flaws in our agricultural methods, Dirt allows viewers to better understand how our food grows and the importance of healthy soil. Vegetation gathers nutrients from the soil and we either eat the vegetation, or animals which have eaten it. If soil becomes depleted or toxic, so does our diet.

2. Simply Raw (2009): Simply Raw follows a group of diabetics as they participate in an experimental raw food retreat for 30 days. The results experienced by all the individuals in the study are exceptionally powerful.

3. Fresh (2009) This film touches again on many issues of industrialized food production. Although some scenes are obviously difficult to watch, Fresh places an uplifting emphasis on how consumers can use their buying power to help reshape our agricultural system.

4. Food Inc. (2008): This doc exposes Americas industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy and workers rights. While exploring current food production methods, filmmakers reveal the incredible power, domination and control a handful of corporations hold over consumers.

5. The Future of Food (2004): With a heavy focus on the potential impacts of genetically modified foods, this film touches on key topics within political, agricultural and social issues surrounding the industrialization of our agriculture system.

6. Food Matters (2008): The focus of the film is helping us rethink the belief systems fed to us by modern medical and health care establishments. The interviewees point out that not every problem requires costly, major medical attention and reveal many alternative therapies that can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than conventional medical treatments.

7. Supersize Me (2004): This film takes another 30-day exploration of the impact food has on our health. However, in Supersize Me, rather than switching to a healthy diet, Martin Spurlock goes on a 100 % McDonalds diet to see what effect fast food really has on our physical body.

8. Whats on Your Plate? (2009): This doc explores many of the same social, economical, environmental and health problems caused by our food system, but looks at these things through the eyes of children. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain.

9. King Corn (2007): A pair of best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbours, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of Americas most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.

10. Tableland (2007): Tableland is a culinary expedition in search of the people, places and taste of North American small-scale, sustainable food production. From B.C. to Quebec, Tableland showcases the successful production of tasty, local and seasonal food from field to plate.

11. Our Daily Bread (2005): This is an almost silent film taking you deep into the distressing world of industrialized farming. Although often quite disturbing, this is a powerful film that opens your eyes to what is truly going on behind the closed doors of our mainstream agricultural practices.

12. Fast Food Nation (2006): Fast Food Nation takes a slightly different approach in examining the social, environmental and economic impact of our current agriculture system. This film uses a slightly satirical and fictional storyline to shed some light on very real issues of exploitation occurring every day.

Rich Ralph for FitnessGoop.com