The 7 Best Documentaries About Farming, Food, and Sustainability

On April 14, 2014

I’m obsessed with movies.  I crave documentaries the same way I crave chocolate.  Since I am particularly passionate about food, farming and sustainability I’ve decided to compile my favorite movies on those subjects.  Here they are in no particular order.

Did I leave any good ones out?  What are your favorite documentaries on this topic?  Please share in the comments!


Food Inc.

This the one that really started it all for me.  It got me super fired up about the food system in America and how “Big Ag.” (as we call it) it not only harming our personal health, but the health of our planet.  We’ve become such an industrialized nation that we started treating the earth like a machine.  It’s not.  It’s a living thing, that’s delicate and unpredictable and needs to be treated as such.

Runners up in this vein are: Forks over Knives, Killer At Large, The Future of Food, Food Matters 



This story is told by a father who has a son that is fascinated by seeds.  He saves them, savors them, collects them.  This got the father thinking about where our food comes from.  What’s it in?  How is it grown? How are these simple seeds manipulated?

If you watch the film, you probably know that our agricultural system has many problems.  How do we save IT, like we save seeds?  It’s a beautiful journey and very eye opening.


The Greenhorns

The average age of farmers in America is around 59, and the number of people passing down their knowledge is dwindling.  How are young farmers supposed to learn to be great stewards of the land?  Greenhorns explores that…

This movie takes a look at the young farmers of America.  The Greenhorns went from movie to movement is now an incredible resource for young people with a burning passion to be great stewards of the land.


No Impact Man

When talking about sustainability and being a good global citizen this movie is the bees-knees.

It started as an experiment in reducing energy and waste, but became the “the year I lost 20 lbs without going to the gym once”, “the year we turned off the TV and became better parents” and “the year we ate locally and seasonally and it reversed my wife’s pre-diabetic condition”.


Food Fight 

You know that thing when you want to stand up and shout “YEAH!” “Boom!” and maybe even throw something at the TV?  Yeah, that thing happens when I watch Food Fight.  

IIt features interviews with some of the most powerful and pivotal people in the conversation around food and agriculture today like Alice Waters, Dan Barber and Michael Pollan.  They discuss how the industry became so wayward and how we can get it back on track.


The Botany of Desire

Based on Michael Pollan’s brilliant book of the same name poses the question: are we controlling plants, or are they in fact controlling us?

It gives us the plant’s eye view and will shift your perspective on why and how we’ve come to eat the foods that we do.


Symphony of the Soil

Soil is certainly not the sexiest of topics but when it comes to growing healthy, nutritous food it is absolutley the most important part of the equation.

You know the phrase “you are what you eat”?  It’s true, you are only as healthy as the food you eat, and your food is only as healthy as the soil it’s grown in.  For any interested in agriculture this weave intellectual stimulating with visual rhapsody and will leave you looking at the earth in a whole new way.


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