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I love a good documentary. They're a great way to absorb a lot of information and inspiration in a short period of time and a particularly useful tool if you're trying to persuade someone you care about to join the other side (the healthy living revolution!).
I love documentaries so much that my first business, Inspired Living Events, was created for the purpose of sharing the great ones with as many people as possible. We ran over 30 screenings of health and wellness films, often with as many as 200 people there! The results were amazing - so many inspired people who stayed in touch and told us how the films had positively impacted their lives.
No matter where you are on your health journey, documentaries can be a great way to learn something new or be re-inspired.
Some are obviously better than others and many set out to promote a particular diet/way of living. There are lots of vegan/vegetarian ones that are a bit extreme in my opinion as they show the most severe cases of factory farming and give little attention to ethical, sustainable farming methods that are now on the rise.
Here's my pick of the top 5 anyone who loves real food and appreciates the work that goes in to producing this real food should watch...
Produced by an Australian family, this wonderful film documents a style of farming that could ultimately change the fate of humanity. Polyface farm is owned by Joel Salatin, a man described as "the world's most innovative farmer". Using no chemicals, Polyface farm feeds over 6,000 families as well as many restaurants and food outlets with a 3 hour 'food shed' of their farm in Virginia, USA.
Polyfaces is a joyful film about connecting to the land and community. About working with nature, not against it. Joel Salatin has inspired many farmers across the world to adopt his ethical, sustainable methods, including our egg farmers at Echo Valley Farm who are seeing some great results.
2. WHAT'S WITH WHEAT?
Produced by Sunshine Coast Nutritionist, Author and Speaker, Cyndi O'Meara, What's With Wheat is an expose about what is really happening with wheat in today's agricultural system.
Have you every wondered why wheat intolerance is such a big issue these days? What's With Wheat is a critical look at the history of wheat, what has been done to it at a genetic level and the ripple effect playing out on human health.
You will learn so much from this fantastic film which features interviews from experts around the world including Joel Salatin, Pete Evans and Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, to name a few.
A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.
Sustainable travels the country seeking leadership and wisdom from some of the most forward thinking farmers who challenge the ethical decisions behind industrial agriculture. It is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to once again sustain us.
4. CHEF'S TABLE
This one is actually a Netflix Documentary Series and not one I would have chosen myself but my husband Trev, being a foodie who loves to cook fancy food, was drawn to it as it explores behind the scenes at some of the world's most famous restaurants.
What I love about it is the connection these top chefs have to the food they buy, and sometimes even grow/catch themselves. There is such a passion for seasonal, locally-grown, chemical-free ingredients.
Must see episodes include Season 1: Magnus Nilsson - a Swedish Chef located far from any city who has learned to produce sensational, seasonal food even in the depths of hard winters; and Season 3: Jeong Kwan - a 60 year old Buddhist Monk in Korea who grows and lovingly prepares the most nutritious, tasty food as a form of meditation and gratitude.
5. THE PALEO WAY
Not just a film for Paleo fans, this documentary series by Chef Pete Evans takes a close look at where our food comes from and how it affects our health. Featuring interviews with health experts and organic farmers and food makers from around the world, it's an informative and inspirational look at how food can be our best medicine.
You'll get recipe ideas, find out about holistic farming, sustainable seafood, gut health, good fats, salt and spices and more. Plus much of it is shot in Australia so you'll see real Australian farmers, food growers and nutritional experts.
Food really is our best medicine and knowledge is power! Empower yourself to make the most informed decisions about your health by learning as much as you can. But don't forget to listen to your own intuition as well - because that's where you'll find the real answers.
Cheers to your health!