With brutal winds and low temperatures making their way across the country, venturing outside seems like a feat equivalent to hiking Everest. Sometimes, the perfect way to beat the winter blues is to put that to-do list on hold, cozy up in flannel and brew a warm cup of tea. But staying in doesn’t mean your wellness has to suffer.
This long weekend, take a break from the arctic chill, grab a blanket and get lost in Netflix. The streaming system has an impressive movie library that boasts a wide array of titles related to food and nutrition. You can actually be productive and learn more by watching these flicks that shed truths on food production, take a close look at diets and define what it means to eat healthy.
Here are six food-focused picks you should add to your watch list:
1. TEDTalks: Chew On This (2011)
Many people are already fans of TEDTalks. Their short video format is informative and intriguing. TED’s series Chew On This features 14 videos that cover a wide range of ‘foodie’ topics—from chef Jamie Oliver’s talk on common food ignorance to entrepreneur Graham Hill sharing how to be a ‘weekday vegetarian.’ Running four to 22 minutes long, the video shorts are easy to follow and addictive to watch.
2. Forks Over Knives (2011)
This documentary takes a look at how common health ailments in the United States—such as diabetes and heart disease—are a direct result of diet. The film examines the unhealthy Western way of eating and its medical impact, concluding that a whole-food, plant-based diet may be all the medicine we need.
3. Food, Inc. (2008)
Probably one of the most well-known food documentaries, this film provides a look at meat production and the role of corporate farming in America. Food, Inc. touches on unsustainable farming methods, as well as widespread food contamination plaguing many American food sources. The movie encourages a more humane and organic food system.
4. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010)
Many tout the benefits of juicing, and in this film, one man decides to see how far the drink trend can go to better his health. Joe Cross was 100 pounds overweight and conventional diet methods didn’t seem to help. After proclaiming he will only eat fresh fruits and vegetables for 60 days, Joe is followed on a road trip as he interacts with others and attempts to lose weight in a new way.
5. Hungry for Change (2012)
This film examines the paradoxical diet and weight-loss industry and exposes the many dangers of diet products. Interviews with nutrition experts and a wide variety health authors enlighten viewers on how better eating habits can lead to better wellness.
6. A Place at the Table (2012)
This documentary follows the story of three people (including two school-aged children) as it addresses the topic of hunger in America. The film looks at how public policy impacts the type of food that those who are hungry have access to. It asserts that if healthy food becomes more available and affordable, then those who are hungry have a chance at a better life.
Photo: Courtesy of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead; photograph by Michele Aboud, styling by Sarah Denardi
Author: Allison Klibanoff