Thanksgiving Day Watch: Documentaries About Food and Nutrition
One of the primary things people think about when they gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day is food. Thought goes into the preparation of the food served, into the selection of favorite recipes, or choosing a dining venue that serves traditional Thanksgiving Day foods or a wide variety of dishes that are traditional to various ethnic traditions or those that have little to do with Thanksgiving Day or ethnic traditions, but are simply favorites that are served at celebratory get together events.
Hence the suggestion of this particular list of documentaries about food production, preparation and appreciation.
Bear in mind that these titles deal with the serious side of film, and the list is not intended to suggest films for watching after a huge dinner when you and your overstuffed belly are at rest on a sofa. These are films that will cause you to consider what Thanksgiving Day is intended to be about: a celebration of survival during times of scarcity and serious consideration about how to assure that everyone in the rapidly increasing human population will have enough to eat in the future.
Have a happy, thoughtful and satisfying Thanksgiving Day and carry the heightened awareness it brings through the rest of the year, as well. Here's the list, and please feel free to ad your suggestions to it via the comment boxes.
First Run Features
This food documentary is about a town in France that decided to go organic. All the citizens began to grow food, and the local school took up the project, planted organic gardens, taught students about nutrition and served healthy lunches. Very inspiring.
With the help of Wilma Stephenson, the tough-minded and tender-hearted culinary arts teacher at inner city Philadelphia's Frankford High School, students learn the culinary arts as a career that will help them to better their lives. Pressure Cooker
is their story, and a good reason for thanksgiving.
Corn was an essential source of nutrition to Native Americans, and those who colonized America, became a food staple for people around the globe. But corn isn't what it once was. In filmmaker Aaron Woolf's King Corn
, genetic engineering of corn and its effects on modern crops and farmers is investigated by two college grads who set up a small farm to trace a corn crop from seed to market.
In Food, Inc.
, filmmaker Robert Kenner investigates how food is produced and distributed in the United States, and his findings are alarming: everything we grow and eat is actually produced by a very small number of huge and remarkably influential multinational corporations. The film shows that Monsanto, Tyson and the others place greater emphasis on corporate profit than on the quality of nutrition, and that the population who eat what they produce and distribute are suffering as a result of their priorities. If food is an essential part of your Thanksgiving celebrations, this film is a must see.
First Run Features
Filmmaker Jeremy Seifert is a dumpster diver. He is one of thousands of individuals who feed their families by retrieving recently 'outdated' comestibles from the garbage bins in which they've been placed by supermarkets around Los Angeles. As Seifert points out in Dive! Living ff America's Waste
, Americans waste food in alarming quantities, while many Americans are starving. Whether you're ready to join the dumpster diving movement or not, this film will broaden the scope of your consideration of food on Thanksgiving.