Our Favorite Food Documentaries

A Place at the Table (2012, Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush)

“A documentary that investigates incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans, and proposed solutions to the problem.”

A River of Waste (2009, Don McCorkell)

“This heart-stopping documentary exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production.”

American Meat (2013, Graham Meriwether)

“A solutions-oriented documentary chronicling the current state of the U.S. meat industry.”

Cafeteria Man (2011, Richard Chisolm)

“The true story of rebel chef Tony Geraci and his mission to radically reform Baltimore’s public school food system with a recipe for change.”

Can You Dig This? (2015, Delila Vallot and Ron Finley)

“Explores the urban gardening revolution currently taking place in South Central Los Angeles, one of the largest food deserts in the country.”

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014, Flip Anderson, Keegan Kuhn)

“Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.”

Dive! (2010, Jeremy Seifert)

“Follow filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and his circle of friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of L.A.’s supermarkets.”

Earthlings (2005, Shaun Monson)

“Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.”

Fed Up (2014, Stephanie Soechtig)

“An examination of America’s obesity epidemic and the food industry’s role in aggravating it.”

Food Chains (2014, Sanjay Rawal and Eva Longoria)

“There is so much interest in food these days yet there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food.”

Food Fight (2008, Chris Taylor)

“A fascinating look at how American agricultural policy and food culture developed in the 20th century, and how the California food movement rebelled against big agribusiness to launch the local organic food movement.”

Food Matters (2008, James Colquhoun, Carlo Ledesma)

“Examines how the food we eat can help or hurt our health.”

Food, Inc. (2008, Robert Kenner)

“An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.”

Forks Over Knives (2011, Lee Fulkerson)

“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.”

Fresh (2009, Ana Sofia Joanes)

“There are still efficient ways to produce healthy fresh organic food in a time where most food is being mass produced by corporations in less than hygienic ways.”

Guajiros (2014, Kati Greaney and Bill Rasmussen)

“Two young Haitian agronomists, Ernst Jean Baptiste and Welbry Delince, explore Cuba’s world-renowned agricultural model.”

Hungry for Change (2012, James Colquhoun, Laurentine Ten Bosch)

“Exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don’t want you to know about deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more.”

In Defense of Food (2016, Michael Schwarz and Michael Pollan)

“Tackles a question more and more people around the world have been asking: What should I eat to be healthy?”

In Organic We Trust (2012, Kip Pastor)

“A documentary that follows director Kip Pastor on a personal journey to answer commonly asked questions about organic food: What exactly is organic?”

Ingredients (2009, Brian Kimmel)

“Explores a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected and dangerous place to eat.”

King Corn (2007, Aaron Woolf)

“A feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation.”

Meat the Truth (2007, Karen Soeters, Gertjan Zwanikken)

“Draws attention to [the issue of climate change] by demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together.”

My Father’s Garden (1996, Miranda Smith)

“An engrossing documentary about the use and misuse of technology on the American farm.”

Natural World: A Farm for the Future (1983, Rebecca Hosking)

“Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family’s farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key.”

Our Food Chain (2014, James Bruce and Wendy Slusser)

“A documentary film that will educate and inspire parents, children, communities and policy makers to get involved in their school lunch programs, improve the food options in their home and in their communities.”

SEED (2016, Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel)

“Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, these subtle flecks of life are the source of all existence.”

Supersize Me (2004, Morgan Spurlock)

“While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month.”

Sushi: The Global Catch (2012, Mark Hall)

“Will the worldwide hunger for sushi continue to grow until wild fish vanish, or will new technology like aquaculture keep plates full?”

Taste the Waste (2010, Valentin Thurn)

“Why do we throw away so much food? And how can we stop this kind of waste?”

The End of the Line (2009, Rupert Murray)

“Documentary filmmaker Rupert Murray examines the devastating effect that overfishing has had on the world’s fish populations and argues that drastic action must be taken to reverse these trends.”

The Future of Food (2004, Deborah Koons)

“An in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery store shelves for the past decade.”

The Garden (2008, Scott Kennedy)

“From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future.”

The Gleaners and I (2000, Agnès Varda)

“Director Agnès Varda deals with the issue of wealth and poverty in modern day France by exploring the world of gleaners and pickers.”

To Make a Farm (2011, Steven Suderman)

“An intimate portrait of five young Canadians who decide to become farmers.”

Truck Farm (2011, Ian Cheney)

“A whimsical, musically-narrated, documentary film about urban agriculture.”

Watermark (2013, Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal)

“A documentary on how water shapes humanity.”


Clips Worth Watching


Food Films by UCLA Students

Coalofornia Dreamin’ (10 min.)

By Melina Aguilar, Jeremy Figueroa, Audrey Hall and Madison Feldman: Exploring the future of the food business through entomophagy, the consumption of insects, in Los Angeles.

Mind-Body Connection (9 min.)

By Justin Kuo and Cecilia Doan: A short documentary on reconnecting the mind and body through health education initiatives organized by UCLA students.

Pouring Frights? (10 min.)

By Sarah Barukh, Carlos Cabrera, Alexandria Choy: A short documentary that investigates the impact of Coca-Cola’s “pouring rights” contract with UCLA on funding for programs, the built environment, and student health.

One Beat at A Time (9 min.)

By Mei Yu, Alyssa Martinez, Anna Rooke, and Liana Almony: Edgar is a DJ waiting for a heart transplant.  A short documentary film exploring leading determinants of cardiovascular disease, including diet.

Farming Change (12 min.)

By Gray Zeldes, Lilian Tang, Hannah Johnson, and Mishka Caruncho: A short documentary about the students, teachers, and volunteers who run Kindred Spirits Care Farm, a permaculture learning center and non-profit organization affiliated with a continuing education high school in Reseda, CA.


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