Food is an essential need of life. We all need food to live but we tend not to think of it so much past what tastes good and what we’re in the mood for. Health usually comes secondary for when you’re so starved you haven’t eaten in eight hours and all you want is a big, greasy burger to quell your hunger. But it’s important that if we want to live a healthy lifestyle that we take care of the foods that we eat and think a little more about them. While Netflix isn’t a source of infomercial diet scams, and thank goodness they’re not, they do still offer plenty of documentaries on the subject of food. Be it a movie about how food is made, how we eat, or what’s the best to consume for a long life, here are 15 of the best food documentaries on Netflix.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi


How far are you willing to go to make sure that your meal is perfect? For the master sushi chef Jiro Ono, perfection is everything. His profession has become so admired and tasty that his oldest son, Yoshikazu, may have a tough time being just as strong as a chef as his dear old dad. Not merely an astounding showcase of Japanese cuisine but also an incredible look into the mind of a professional chef.

Forks Over Knives


For those who may be thinking about taking a turn towards vegan in their diets, Forks Over Knives makes a case to cut out the meat. A number of different researchers take aim at the subject of the American diet and try to discover if it’s more beneficial to favor plant over meat when it comes to what we eat. Namely, how do such diets contribute to certain diseases. If you find yourself struggling to go more healthy, this may be a documentary worth checking out.

Rotten


We tend not to question much of how the sausage is made when it comes to our food but Rotten wants to let us in on the darker side of the machinery. The documentary takes aim at the habits of raising livestock along with all the waste and corruption that comes with getting chicken, pigs, and cows to the dinner table. What follows is a messy story of how this sloppy means of maintaining meat leads to challenges for farmers and chefs in a changing landscape of food.

Food Inc.


It’s a little scary to think that most of our food is regulated or served up almost entirely by giant corporations taking on the massive responsibility of taking on large distribution. Food Inc. features filmmaker Robert Kenner taking a deep dive into this subject and how it’s just a little bit scary that a handful corporations seem to control everything from the farms where food is raised to the restaurants where it is served.

In Defense of Food


Based on the best-selling book by journalist and activist Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food focuses on what can be done with our diets to improve our health. He delivers how to do so in simple and easy to read methods, distilling advice down to the simplest of sayings: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” It’s the ultimate and simple documentary for the person who just wants to know outright what they should be eating to get healthy.

Cowspiracy


Sure, cows are tasty but the process of serving them up for order is no easy task. Cowspiracy uncovers the environmental impacts of trying to maintain the vast collectives of cows to meat market demand, including aspects that affect climate change, deforestation, and water usage. It’s a startling documentary for how it uncovers the darker side of bovine stock and how it’s affecting our planet.

What the Health


Among the many reasons to eat healthy, one shiny plus is the prevention of diseases. Kip Anderson takes a look at neglected nutritional facts that can not only lead to preventing crippling diseases but even reverse them as well. There are so many interesting tips on fostering a better diet you’ll be surprised they’re not as well known or shouted from the rooftops.

The Magic Pill


Fat has always been something that our bodies needed to a certain degree. But what if that fat could be used for more? The Magic Pill covers the subject of utilizing fat for dealing with disease, as explained by a variety of doctors, scientists, and chefs. Several topics are covered in this diet focused documentary from vegetable oils to how livestock is fed to the agricultural aspects of the food we eat.

Sustainable


We know that in order to grow up crops or raise livestock that there’s one element most key you need to make this farming happen: land. Sustainable tackles the very crucial issue of how land is used for farming and how it is affecting the planet. The documentary covers how farmers are currently using the land and what must be done to ensure these farms will remain producing for the future of food.

The Truth About Alcohol


Sure, we’ve heard about how booze can be a terrible choice for an entertaining beverage, mostly when we knew we’re driving home. But how bad are alcoholic drinks for you? Some of this seems like common knowledge if you’ve done a lot of drinking or been around heavy drinkers and noticed the giant bellies and constant eating. But it’s not bad to have a documentary bringing this important type of information to light.

Food Matters


Food Matter presents an interesting and compelling case for leading to a healthier life. Of course, the film does echo the stronger points of how finding the right diet can lead to preventing and curing certain diseases. But this thesis is presented in a very scientific and analytical way to make it an easy-to-understand film about how the right foods can lead to the right life.

Hungry for Change


A trio of filmmakers, James Colquhoun, Laurentine Ten Bosch, and Carlo Ledesma, aim their skepticism cannons at the tough topic of diets. You’ve most likely heard all the stories from various products that promise a flatter stomach and a healthier lifestyle. You may even have some doubts that they work. That’s where this documentary comes in to uncover the truth behind shady tactics that promise weight loss with little results.

PlantPure Nation


You may have noticed that a lot of these documentaries that promote health through eating lots of vegetables are quite abundant in science and theory. Now comes a documentary that really wants to prove plants are the way to go when it comes to a diet and deliver that message to others. Three people are followed in this documentary from the producers of Forks Over Knives to spread the good word about good food that can have a positive effect on one’s health and their lives.

Super Size Me


The film that launched a major questioning of fast food, Super Size Me stars Morgan Spurlock undertaking a dangerous experiment. He will try to survive on a diet entirely comprised of McDonald’s fast food. If the employees ask if he wants to supersize his meal, he must say yes. What follows is a frightening transformation as health deteriorates and character changes in an eye-opening documentary about how McDonald’s food is not exactly best suited for three square meals a day.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead


The opposite of a Super Size Me experiment, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead follows an obese man with an autoimmune disease trying to better himself with a new diet. To lose weight and improve his health, he goes on a liquid diet of only drinking fruits and vegetables over the course of sixty days. Does this type of diet really work? You’ll just have to watch to find out.

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