Food serves many purposes in our daily lives. It’s most obvious, and most important is as a means for survival. But, it also serves as a uniting social force, a way to learn about different cultures and a tool to help achieve health and happiness. These food documentaries all examine food through four, distinct lenses.
Super Size Me was one of the first food documentaries to hit mainstream culture. In it, Morgan Spurlock examines the effects that a McDonald’s diet has on your health. For a 30-day period, Spurlock ate McDonald’s three times a day, and also supersized the meal if he was asked. The film documents the drastic changes the diet has on both his physical and psychological well-being.
Joe Cross was overweight and suffering from an autoimmune disorder when he decided to embark on a mission to restore his health. He gave up junk food and turned to juicing in an attempt to get healthy. For 60 days, he drank nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juice while road tripping across America and speaking to others about their health. Along the way, he meets a truck driver with the same rare autoimmune disorder as him.
Forks over Knives seeks to answer the question if degenerative diseases can be controlled, or cured, by removing animal-based and processed foods from our diet. The film follows the journey of “reality patients” with chronic diseases ranging from heart disease to diabetes, as they learn how to adopt a whole-food diet as a way to approach their medical issues.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi tells the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He’s the owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star sushi-only restaurant that only seats ten and is located inside of a Japanese subway station. The film is a thoughtful story chronicling Jiro’s success in the culinary world and his complicated, but loving, relationship with his children.