The website Netflix has a great library of food-related films available to watch instantly. Below is a list of films available for streaming that will leave you not only salivating, but also inspired to help improve our food system.
Spinning Plates (2013)
A documentary that focuses on three tenacious restaurants and their chefs, each facing obstacles that threaten their ability to live out their dreams. Grant Achatz, owner and head chef of a Michelin-rated Chicago restaurant is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition; Mike and Cindy Breitbach, owners of a 150-year-old restaurant, must rely on their community for support when disaster strikes; and Francisco and Gabby Martinez, who risk everything to provide for their young daughter. The chefs, their restaurants, and their struggles couldn’t be more diverse, but their heartfelt stories shed light on what brings a chef to the kitchen every day.
The Raw and the Cooked (2012)
German documentarian Monika Treut lets the food speak for itself as the film explores six unique locations across Taiwan. The film’s focus on the culinary diversity of Taiwan exposes the island’s cultural and historical influences. From traditional Chinese dim-sum, to aboriginal bouillabaisse cooked inside a tree-trunk, this film will leave you hungry and intrigued.
More than Honey (2013)
More than Honey is a beautifully-shot Swiss documentary about the fascinating world of bees, bee keeping, and the frightening decline of bee populations. Extraordinary nature close-ups and in-depth interviews explain the complicated relationship between bees, honey, mankind, the environment, policy and even evolution.
TEDTalks: Chew on This (2011)
Episode 2: Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love with a Fish
Chefs, farmers, master bakers, and food scientists share stories about everything food related in the TEDTalks series Chew on This. In “How I Fell in Love with a Fish,” chef Dan Barber shares the story of his short love affair with what he thought was a sustainably raised fish, until he realized he didn’t know what that actually meant. Barber is brought to an unexpected location on his quest to find a fish he could truly love.
TEDTalks: Chew on This (2007)
Episode 9: Anne Cooper Talks School Lunches
Anne Cooper, Director of Nutrition Services for Berkley Unified School System, was determined to change what school kids ate. Every stop of the way she was challenged and told children would never eat healthier. Cooper’s TEDTalk describes the major problems revolving around school lunches and her journey towards successfully changing children’s eating habits.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
Jiro Ono, the 87 year-old proprietor of an inconspicuous10-seat restaurant in a Tokyo subway station, is considered one of the world’s greatest sushi masters. His talent and passion for food is nearly unrivaled and is perhaps the reason why people make a pilgrimage to Japan for the chance to sit in one of the coveted seats at his sushi bar. This film revolves around Ono’s personal story, the fish industry, and the familial relationships that are needed to continue the art of making sushi. Beautiful camera work and stunning visuals will leave your mouth watering.
The Fruit Hunters (2013)
Adventurers, scientists, detectives and even actor Bill Pullman join the ranks of fruit-obsessed hunters dedicating themselves to finding and preserving rare fruits across the globe. In an increasingly monoculture world, these fruit hunters are in pursuit of protecting genetic diversity, while also exploring the complex relationship between humans and fruit.
TEDTalks: Chew on This
Episode 14: Arthur Potts Dawson: A vision for Sustainable Restaurants
In the restaurant business, there is an immense amount of waste. Waste comes in the form of time, money, energy, and food. So the question is asked, how do we reduce waste? Dawson’s optimistic yet pragmatic talk explains what a sustainable restaurant looks like and how to actually make it happen.
Hungry for Change (2012)
Stuck in a cycle of ineffective diets? It may not be your fault. Hungry for Change is a transformative documentary that delves into the deceptive diet and weight-loss industry, and explores the disconnect between food, health, and happiness. Experts include the nation's leading dieticians, nutritionists, best selling authors, and chef and food activist Jamie Oliver.
Forks Over Knives (2011)
After an eye-opening trip to the Philippines, Dr. T. Colin Campbell started on a quest to investigate what he called “diseases of affluence,” such as heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. This film also chronicles a group of patients suffering from diet-related diseases and their journey after significantly altering their eating habits.