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Documentaries

Posted Jun 15 2010 12:00am

I used to think documentaries were boring and to be honest, nerdy – this coming from a former jock.  Since then I have grown up.  Now I recognize that educational films are a great way to raise awareness in a relatively short amount of time.  This is a growing collection of documentaries featuring food, nutrition, health, and the environment.  Swap one of these videos with your typical action/drama/comedy flick, and you will have an evening of enlightenment.  Better yet, look for them at your local library for free!

  • An Inconvenient Truth -  A 2006 documentary film about former United States Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming via a comprehensive slide show.
  • BBC’s Planet Earth – If you enjoyed Disney’s Earth and haven’t checked out BBC’s Planet Earth, you should!  70% of the footage from Disney’s Earth was taken directly from BBC’s Planet Earth.
  • Food, Inc. – How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families?  This film lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.  Food, Inc. reveals surprisingand often shocking truthsabout what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
  • Forks Over Knives – The feature film examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.  The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
  • Genetically Modified Food – Panacea or Poison – Fears that Genetically Modified Food may not be safe for humans or the environment has sparked violent protest.  Are we participating in a dangerous global nutritional experiment?  This informative film helps the viewer decide if the production of genetically modified food is a panacea for world hunger or a global poison.
  • Healing Cancer: From the Inside Out – Part 1, Curing Cancer, deals with the failings of conventional cancer treatments. It will provide the information needed to accurately assess the risks and benefits of any treatment. There is also a section on the ‘Cancer Industry’ which explains the history behind cancer treatments, the suppression of alternative treatments and why chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are the only treatments available to mainstream medicine. Part 2, Healing Cancer, shows how cancer can be successfully healed with dietary treatments and natural supplementation. It explains common misconceptions about cancer, shows how diets designed to fight cancer are more successful than conventional treatments, discusses startling cancer research findings with T. Colin Campbell (The China Study) and has interviews with people who have reversed cancers using diet.
  • Healthy Cooking Made Easy & Delicious – Do you need to know how to make healthy food fast? This is just the thing for you. The emphasis of Jill’s DVD is simplicity and ease. She doesn’t even use a measuring cup or spoon. Jill will show you how easy it is to make healthy and delicious food from unprocessed natural ingredients. All recipes are free of animal products, dairy, egg, gluten, wheat, oil, soy, salt, sugar and flour.
  • Ingredients – At the focal point of this movement, and of this film, are the farmers and chefs who are creating a truly sustainable food system. Their collaborative work has resulted in great tasting food and an explosion of consumer awareness about the benefits of eating local.
  • Meat the Truth -  A high-profile documentary which forms an addendum to earlier films on climate change. Although such films have succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue of global warming, they have repeatedly ignored one of the most important causes of climate change: the intensive livestock production. Meat the Truth draws attention to this by demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together.
  • No Impact Man – Colin Beavan decides to completely eliminate his personal impact on the environment for the next year.  It means eating vegetarian, buying only local food, and turning off the refrigerator. It also means no elevators, no television, no cars, busses, or airplanes, no toxic cleaning products, no electricity, no material consumption, and no garbage.  No problem – at least for Colin – but he and his family live in Manhattan. So when his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter are dragged into the fray, the No Impact Project has an unforeseen impact of its own.
  • Osteoporosis Protection For Life – Osteoporosis is combated most effectively through proper nutrition and exercise without the use of high risk medications like Fosomax, Boniva, and Actonell.  In Osteoporosis Protection for Life, Dr. Fuhrman explains: the causes of osteoporosis; the problems with medications; how to see if you are at risk for a hip fracture and how to prevent one from happening to you.  Join Dr. Fuhrman and his crew for a fun and vigorous bone-building workout. Fifteen minutes twice a week is all it takes.
  • Pig Business – Featuring Robert Kennedy, Jr., and UK eco-campaigner and director Tracy Worcester, reveals how U.S. concentrated agriculture feeding operations (CAFOs) are now moving to Eastern Europeparticularly to Polandand demonstrates the link between clearing forests in the Amazon to grow soy for feed to pig farms.
  • Processed People – Nine preeminent health and environmental experts discuss how fast food, fast medicine, fast news, and fast lives have turned many Americans into a sick, uninformed, indebted, “processed” people.
  • Secrets to Healthy Cooking – Learn how to prepare great tasting and high nutrient recipes. By incorporating these recipes into your daily menu, you’ll take your health to the next level of nutritional excellence!
  • Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days – An independent documentary film that chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication.
  • Super Size Me – While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores health consequences from a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month.
  • The Future of Food – Before compiling your next grocery list, you might want to watch filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia’s eye-opening documentary, which sheds light on a shadowy relationship between agriculture, big business and government. By examining the effects of biotechnology on the nation’s smallest farmers, the film reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: You could unknowingly be serving them for dinner.  Created in 2004, Not Rated, 90 minutes
  • The Meatrix – When The Meatrix launched in November 2003, the viral film broke new ground in online grassroots advocacy, creating a unique vehicle by which to educate, entertain and motivate people to create change.
  • Two Angry Moms – Two Angry Moms shows not only what is wrong with school food; it offers strategies for overcoming roadblocks and getting healthy, good tasting, real food into school cafeterias. The movie explores the roles the federal government, corporate interests, school administration and parents play in feeding our country’s school kids.
  • We Feed the World – A film about food and globalisation, fishermen and farmers, long-distance lorry drivers and high-powered corporate executives, the flow of goods and cash flow–a film about scarcity amid plenty. With its unforgettable images, the film provides insight into the production of our food and answers the question what world hunger has to do with us.  Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food we eat. His journey takes him to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil and back to Austria.

Share your opinion, comments, or start a discussion sparked by any of these movies.  Or suggest a film that is not listed here.

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