Are you a student leader looking for something new to inspire your team before your next recovery? New to the concept of food justice and want to learn more about the people that grow and pick our food? Just want to watch a movie where they sing songs about a truck? If you fall into any of these categories, get excited. We've complied a list of seven of the best food documentaries out there.
1. A Place at the Table
What's it about? A Place at the Table is about hunger in America and focuses mostly on families with children. It explores in-depth the impact of hunger on a child’s education, goals and long-term success. It also takes a look at the correlation between obesity and poverty and suggests some potential solutions for ending hunger and improving our food system.
Why watch it? To learn more about hunger in America. It’s a great way to motivate new food recovery volunteers as well, as it's full of moving personal stories by people who have dealt with hunger.
2. Just Eat It
What's it about? A Canadian couple decides to eat only food that would otherwise have been wasted for 6 months and are continually shocked to find that there is a huge surplus of food at the different grocery stores that they visit. Over the course of those 6 months, they spend less than $200 on groceries and save more than $20,000 of food.
Why You Should Watch It: Just Eat It is a great film if you want to learn more about dumpster diving and/or other ways to procure wasted food. It’s expertly produced and doesn’t take itself too seriously, so you can have fun while watching it, too.
3. Truck Farm
What's it about? Two friends want to grow a garden in New York City but realize that the only space they have to grow in is their truck bed. This doesn't stop them; they outfit their truck with a fancy drainage system designed for a roof and proceed to grow an abundance of vegetables and herbs in it while driving it all over the city.
Why watch it? If you’re trying to teach kids about urban farming, Truck Farm is a great option! They explore several creative ways to grow produce in a city. Check this one out if you’re in a goofy mood but still want something informative -- this movie doubles as a musical (featuring songs like “Truck Farm, It’s Like A Roof”)!
4. Food Chains
What's it about? Food Chains focuses on farmworker justice, specifically on the plight of farmworkers in Florida who are being paid a penny for each pound of tomatoes they pick. The film follows the Coalition of Immokalee Workers as they take on huge corporations like Walmart and Publix.
Why Watch It? To learn more about farmworker justice and the impact that our food system has on the people who pick our food. It’s also a great film to watch to better understand exactly where our food comes from and the systems that exist to grow, pick, and bring it to market.
What's it about? A group of friends go dumpster diving for most of their meals and find that they have way more food than they need. They try to find a way to donate or reroute it but realize that the process of recovering the wasted food is more complicated than they expected.
Why Watch It? Dive! is a great movie to watch as an introduction to food waste. These filmmakers are incredibly knowledgeable about wasted food and its impact on the environment and cite strong statistics and existing legislation that viewers should consider.
6. The Starfish Throwers
What's it about? The Starfish Throwers follows three people who are making a difference by feeding the hungry: a man who goes out each night with sandwiches for those in need, a young girl who grows gardens all over the U.S. to serve free dinners, and a man in India who drives food to people on the street on a daily basis.
Why Watch It? To learn more about three individuals who are leading inspiring efforts in the fight against hunger. The three leaders profiled are incredibly passionate about their work -- their energy and commitment is contagious!
7. Food, Inc
What's it about? Food, Inc. is an expose on corporate agriculture that explores how large-scale industrial farming is harming people, animals and the environment. Featuring interviews with food experts Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Gary Hirshberg and Joel Salatin, the film addresses everything from factory farming to food safety to GMOs.
Why watch it? This film is a must-see for anyone who is interested in the politics behind our food. If you haven't seen it already, watch it for a strong introductory overview of the major issues facing our food system.
Excited about watching the above films? If you're attending the National Food Recovery Dialogue or in the D.C. area on Sunday, April 3, get tickets to our screening of Just Eat It. A Q&A with filmmaker Jenny Rustemeyer will follow the screening.