12 Powerful Food Documentaries to Watch on Netflix

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Happy nutrition month! As you may have heard, the month of March is nutrition month – a month long education and information campaign. In Canada the theme is “Beyond the Table“, which addresses the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, from food production and distribution to navigating grocery stores and farmers markets. It also describes the various ways we eat and includes sustainability.

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A collage of images of food and farmers with overlay that says "12 Food Documentaries to Watch on Netflix".

But how do we stay inspired to eat healthy? There are many tips on how to eat healthy ie: carry a water bottle, and carry your own snacks etc. but even I find it really hard to keep up the motivation to eat the apple in my purse instead of the shiny beautiful bags of chips in the vending machine at work. Whenever I find my motivation waning, or when I get home after a REALLY bad eating day, I like to curl up on the couch, flip on Netflix and renew my enthusiasm by watching one of the powerful food documentaries that I’ve listed below. I find seeing others lose hundreds of pounds and overcoming diseases with healthy eating very inspiring!

Disclosure: I used to be a Netflix Streamteam member and was compensated for this post in 2015. This post was updated in 2024 and I was not compensated for that update. All thoughts and reviews are my own.   

Forks over Knives

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This gastronomic documentary profiles three distinctive restaurants based in very different locales: Chicago; Tucson, Arizona; and Balltown, Iowa.

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

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If you’re looking for motivation to change your lifestyle, look no further. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead chronicles Joe Cross’ attempt to lose 100 pounds and offset the food-induced damage he’s done to his body. The film also recounts the struggles of people he meets along the way. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead investigates the effects of an unhealthy diet and explores our ability to reverse it.

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2

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In this follow up to Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Joe sets out to learn how to be healthy in an unhealthy world, he talks to a wide range of experts, follows up with folks from the first film, and connects with new people along the way. Each one helps Joe learn that healthy eating is only one aspect of living a healthy life. From stay-at-home moms to world-class surgeons to office workers in Kenya, it seems like everyone is trying to be healthier, yet struggling to do so.

GMO OMG

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Filmmaker and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how they affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice. His journey takes him to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and even agri-giant Monsanto as he poses perhaps the ultimate question about what we eat: is it still possible to reject our current food system, or have we already lost something we can’t get back?

Hungry for Change

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Changing the way you look at food isn’t necessarily a pleasant experience. Hungry for Change aims to uncover some of the food industry’s worst secrets about the FDA, sugar and what humans as a species should be eating. Sure, the film may serve as healthy eating propaganda, but at least that’s spoonful of sugar we can take down.

Inside Chipotle

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Chipotle’s stock has more than tripled in the past 5 years and the company is now worth $12 billion. Bloomberg’s Chief National Correspondent Carol Massar takes a closer look at the business behind the fast casual food chain.

Vegucated

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Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a award-winning documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers from different backgrounds who, for six weeks, adopt a vegan diet and a whole new way of thinking about food.

Spinning Plates

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Three extraordinary restaurants and the incredible people who make them what they are…A cutting-edge restaurant named the seventh-best in the world whose chef must battle a life-threatening obstacle to pursue his passion. A 150-year-old family restaurant still standing only because of the unbreakable bond with its community. A fledgling Mexican restaurant whose owners are risking everything just to survive and provide for their young daughter. Their unforgettable stories of family, legacy, passion and survival come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and the power it has to connect us to one another.

Food Inc.

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Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants.

Super Size Me

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Good news for anyone who missed the notorious film back in 2004 — Morgan Spurlock’s legendary documentary is available for streaming. Watch what happens to Spurlock’s body as he spends a month eating nothing but McDonald’s. The ominous trailer gives a strong hint: There’s not a whole lot of “lovin’ it” here.

More Than Honey

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More Than Honey aims to understand why the world’s bees are disappearing, and in the process provides an abundance of mind-blowing facts about the insects. For example, one-third of what we eat wouldn’t exist without bees. That figure alone should make getting stung seem like much less of a big deal.

TEDTalks: Chew on This

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Where do you find healthy eating motivation?
What’s your favourite food documentary?

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3 Comments

  1. Lisa Luth says:

    Great collection Janice! Thanks for posting this, I have some new docs to watch 🙂

  2. (((adds GMO OMG to her list)))

  3. You just said 2 of my favourite words “food” and “documentary”. I am definitely going to check this out!