Whether you teach a whole course on Nutrition, or a Nutrition unit to supplement a Health or Science curriculum, having visual aids to supplement the material can be very helpful. These food documentaries all highlight problems with the food supply and nutritional habits of our culture, explaining why Americans are getting sicker and heavier. Movies about food and nutrition can highlight issues in a way that textbooks can’t, by putting faces and real pictures to the nutritional problems our country is facing. The following four food documentaries will all serve as excellent learning tools in any nutrition unit or lesson plan.
Food, Inc. is an engaging food documentary which highlights the ugly truth behind our nation’s food supply and what we can do as consumers to combat what’s going on. From exposing the highly mechanized and industrialized food industry that’s making us sicker to showcasing what a true healthy family farm looks like, students will be engrossed with what toxins they’re putting into their bodies when they eat certain foods. This movie about food shows in a very real way the unhealthy manner in which much of our food is grown and produced and what we can do about it.
Students learning about nutrition will be fascinated to learn that most of their bodies consist of corn. And this food documentary, King Corn, explains precisely why this is the case. Two friends and filmmakers set out to follow the production of an acre of corn and where in our nation’s food supply it may travel once it’s harvested. Nutrition students will learn why our food is overproduced and undernourished, as well as some history about our modern farming system. Students will be challenged to take a closer look at food labels to determine what they’re really ingesting, since much of what they’re probably currently eating all stems from the same unhealthy place-industrialized corn.
Killer At Large
Killer at Large is a movie about nutrition in that it follows the deadly obesity epidemic our country is currently facing. While many health officials are focusing on ills such as heart disease or smoking, Killer at Large determines that obesity is our nation’s biggest health risk. It explores why this has become our reality and what we can do to reverse the unhealthy trends in our culture. Students will learn what steps they can take to become healthier, as well as what they can do as consumers to combat our unhealthy food culture at large. Educators can get a free copy of this film on the website, which is linked above.
Super Size Me
Morgan Spurlock’s groundbreaking documentary was the buzz of our nation for a short time, but it seems to have had a somewhat lasting impact on our fast food culture. In this entertaining food documentary, Morgan resolves to eat nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days to see what happens to his body. The results are ugly, and he goes further in this film to explore just how much the fast food industry preys on the hearts and minds of our culture, particularly children. Students may be surprised at what is uncovered and will certainly be able to relate to the advertising tactics described in the film. This is an excellent supplement to any nutrition unit or lesson plan; the educator’s version linked above also comes with lessons and activities to use with grades 6 through 12 to enhance the overall learning experience.