Documentaries: What’s Wrong with the Food System?

A list of online documentaries, shorts and trailers on the problems caused by the dominant mode of food production and consumption. FIAN Netherlands does not necessarily endorse the content of all the documentaries listed here. This list will be updated regularly.

Smakelijk Eten! (Enjoy your Meal!): This movie shows how our food consumption impacts on food producing counties such as Brazil, Kenya and the Philippines.
Director: Walter Grotenhuis
Length: 90 min
Year: 2011
Language: Dutch and English

We feed the world (trailer): Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food we eat and views modern industrial production of food and factory farming in a critical light. His journey takes him to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil and back to Austria.
Erwin Wagenhofer
Length: 96 min
Year: 2005
Language: German and English

The World according to Monsanto: The gigantic bio-tech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.
Director: Marie-Monique Robin
Length: 149 min
Year: 2008
Language: French, English and German

Seeds of Freedom: The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost. It’s time to change the story.
Director: Jess Phillimore, narrated by Jeremy Irons
Length: 30 min
Year: 2012
Language: English

Edible City: Grow the Revolution (trailer) is a fast-paced, feature-length documentary journey through the local good food movement in San Francisco.
Director: Andrew Hasse and Carl Grether
Length: 71 min
Year: 2012
Language: English

Vandana Shiva: the Future of Food (part one, two and three): Vandana Shiva (India, 1952) is one of the greatest thinkers on food, environment and biodiversity of our times. She takes an outsider’s view on the challenges of the western food system and shows that everything is connected with each other. This is how she uncovers the necessity for change, while outlining perspectives for a better, more honest, more organic, but especially more democratic food system.
19 min
Language: English

Food Inc. (trailer): An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.
Director: Robbert Kenner
Length: 94 min
Year: 2008
Language: English

Taste the Waste (trailer): A documentary about the worldwide destruction of food. Why do we throw away so much? And how can we stop this kind of waste?
Director: Valentin Thurn
Length: 45 min
Year: 2010
Language: English

Meatrix trilogy: A series of animations, spoofing The Matrix movie while educating viewers about the problems with factory farming and also offering simple solutions to support sustainable food and agriculture.
Created by
Length: Between 2 en 4 min
Language: English

Black Gold: The worldwide coffee industry is worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil. But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.
Director: Marc & Nick Francis
Length: 78 min
Year: 2006
Language: English

The End of the Line (trailers): 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.
Director: Ruppert Murray
Length: 82 min
Year: 2009
Language: English

Our Daily Bread (trailer): Welcome to the world of industrial food production and high-tech farming! To the rhythm of conveyor belts and immense machines, the film looks without commenting into the places where food is produced in Europe: monumental spaces, surreal landscapes and bizarre sounds – a cool,  industrial environment which leaves little space for individualism. People, animals, crops and machines play a supporting role in the logistics of this system which provides our society’s standard of living.
Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Length: 92 min
Year: 2005
Language: German and English

Darwins Nightmare (fragments): A documentary on the effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria. The predatory fish, which has wiped out the native species, is sold in European supermarkets, while starving Tanzanian families have to make do with the leftovers.
Director: Rupert Sauper.
Length: 107 min
Year: 2004
Language: English

Photo credit: Ian Richardson @ Flickr