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Six best documentaries about food justice, history and culture

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The Food Justice Movement is a grassroots initiative and structural view that considers nutritious foods as human rights.

Lack of access to healthy foods claims to be both a symptom and a cause of structural inequality that divides society, and how race, class and gender are in the way food is produced, distributed and consumed. Recognizes whether it plays an important role in.

Specifically, the movement is how color and low-income communities are being disproportionately harmed by the current food system, for example, how they are denied access to means of production. I’m trying to clarify.

In addition, the framework takes into account other factors that impede access to food, such as the price of goods and the location of grocery stores.

Therefore, the activity of food justice is as much about creating a local food system as it is to end structural inequality that leads to unequal health consequences.

The movement aims to address structural barriers and economic factors that impede access to healthy, culturally relevant and nutritious foods.

Therefore, knowledge of food justice and culture is essential. However, for those unfamiliar with the area, knowing where to start can be a bit daunting.

Fortunately, there are many great documentaries aimed at educating the audience and raising awareness of the food system.

For more information, see 6 documentaries and documentaries that you can stream.

“High on the Hog” is a four-part Netflix documentary series that explores the history of African-American culinary history and the impact of classism, racial disparity, and labor relations on African-American food culture.

This documentary is an adaptation of the 2011 book of the same name by American culinary historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris.

“High on the Hog” is sponsored by Stephen Satterfield, the founder of Whetstone Magazine, a publication specializing in food history and culture.

Historically, Shaw claims that American food culture has reduced African-American cuisine to Southern or soul food. But blacks have gone beyond that and have made countless contributions, including the famous classic American cuisine.

It’s an important and culturally relevant documentary to look at, as it reveals how much American food is believed to come from an African-American population.

Not only does it educate viewers about African culinary traditions and culinary patience, but it also speaks shyly about how enslavement affected what we know as American cuisine today.

It’s a deep and subtle quest for the roots of African-American food. From a food justice perspective, this documentary is an important text for understanding and celebrating the true foundations of American cuisine.

Related Resources: Check out this article on respecting black culture and heritage through food.

“Salt Fat Acid Heat” is a four-part Netflix documentary that explores how nominal elements are used in various regional dishes as the centerpiece of cooking.

The show is inspired by American chef Samin Nosrat’s 2017 cookbook of the same name. Nosrat hosts this documentary that explores the essence of cooking by distilling food down to these four basic elements.

She will visit Italy, Japan, the Yucatan region of Mexico, and her hometown of Berkeley, California, to meet restaurant chefs, home cooks, and craftsmen to gain a deeper understanding of the basics of their unique kitchen.

This works to celebrate the country of origin of each dish, while unifying each food culture.

Introduced as a culinary and travel education show, this series introduces food culture and history more closely than academically. The establishment in food culture is still very educational, relevant and fun to watch.

Related Resources: Check out this article on Chef Andy Baraghani’s view on how cooking can reflect our social and cultural identities...

“A Place at the Table” is a documentary highlighting the social and economic consequences of hunger in the United States, where more than 50 million people suffer from food insecurity.

The film examines the problem through the story of a single mother, a second grader whose health problems are exacerbated by diet, and a fifth grader who relies on the generous diet of friends and neighbors.

The film suggests that American hunger is not due to a real food shortage. Rather, it is a complex situation fueled by social and government indifference.

Among other issues, the documentary cites:

  • The USDA farm subsidy program rewards larger agribusinesses than family-owned farms
  • Higher cost of nutritious fruits and vegetables compared to highly processed foods
  • Food stamp system that disqualifies many low-income households from government support

Some of the evidence is outdated,“A Place at the Table” is the perfect documentary to look at if you want to better understand how structural inequality leads to disproportionate health outcomes in low-income communities.

Related Resources: Check out this article about America’s “Food Desert” — and why do some food justice scholars say it’s not the most accurate term?

“Eating Our Way To Extinction” is a documentary that explores our food system, its negative impact on the planet, and its potential impact on our future.

The film features different parts of the world to share the testimony of the most affected indigenous peoples of the environmental crisis. They highlight the relationship between the food we eat and our current ecological crisis.

The film argues that animal farming and fishing are key factors leading to livestock raising, unsustainable feed production, antibiotic abuse and increased deforestation.

Therefore, we are asking viewers to consider a plant-based diet to counter the effects of environmental destruction.

The documentary has been criticized for blaming individual consumers and overlooking the influence and responsibility of wealth-focused economies, rather than demanding accountability from businesses and governments.

But it’s a good introduction to the relationship between food culture and climate change. Especially for those looking for deeper insights into how our personal diet affects the world’s population.

Related Resources: Check out this article, which provides nine tips for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in your kitchen.

“Gather” records the growing movement of Native Americans to regain their spiritual, political and cultural identity through food sovereignty while fighting the trauma of centuries of genocide.

We follow members from four different indigenous countries to work with community leaders to regain and maintain cultural traditions. Some of these stories are:

  • Opening a restaurant that uses Apache-grown produce to combat food insecurity
  • Reintroduction of ancient medicine and food practices
  • A teenage academic study of the benefits of a traditional buffalo-based diet over modern beef-based diets

The story of this film is rooted in the healing of intergenerational trauma with the cooperation of the community in the fight for food sovereignty. Personal stories and archived footage contextualize the ongoing violence experienced by indigenous peoples.

This documentary advocates a restorative revolution and emphasizes how Native Americans of all ages use their research, cooking, and foraging skills in the fight for food justice.

Related Resources: Check out this article to explore how respecting food traditions, including indigenous food history, can help support a more sustainable future.

The “Food Chain” is a documentary that explores the responsibilities of the US agricultural labor and the multi-billion dollar supermarket and fast food industry in the abuse of agricultural workers.

The film, directed by Gather’s Sanjay Laire, also records the experience of immigrant farmers choosing fruits and vegetables for sale to major US food wholesalers. It is exploring the work of the Immokalee Workers’ Union and their hunger strikes for better wages.

The workers shown are primarily from Latin America and share their poor working conditions and experience with both wage theft and, in some cases, modern slavery.

The documentary argues that the American food system is by no means sustainable if it is based on the abuse of low-income workers. It also emphasizes how food justice and human rights are closely linked.

The “food chain” reveals how farmers have been abused and enslaved within the US border to this day. It focuses on labor costs in the food supply industry, the food security battle, and the fight against corporate greed.

Related Resources: Read this article detailing the challenges associated with food supply chains and how to fix them.

Understanding the food justice movement is essential to achieving a sustainable food system.

While more and more academic research is emphasizing movements that empower historically bystander communities, there are also many accessible documentaries and documentaries that are working to influence change.

After all, movies are a very powerful visual aid when it comes to raising awareness of social inequality and can provide a gentle introduction to complex topics.

The movies and series above certainly provide a solid foundation for learning about food justice and culture.


Zuva Seven is an online digital magazine, An Injustice! Freelance writer and editor-in-chief. She is also involved in politics and pop culture, but is particularly committed to educating people about general health, wellness and mental health. Her work has been published in various publications such as Refinery29, Business Insider, Stylist Magazine and Greatist. When she’s not writing, she’s working on Zuva strength training at the gym and a literary degree in film, media, and gender studies at the University of Cape Town.Follow her twitter..

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