The 10 Most Vital Food Documentaries on Netflix

After months of rumors, Netflix finally made good on their threat to raise the price of their streaming service. While current customers get to keep the current $7.99 a month price for another two years, future customers will be bumped a dollar to $8.99 a month. This might cause you to cancel your subscription.

But before you do! Take advantage of the service's surprisingly ample Food Documentary section by planting yourself in front of the TV (and, more importantly, A/C), and educate yourself with the following food-related docs.

Story continues below


The downside of all-encompassing regulation is that occasionally it means being protected from something that isn't dangerous at all. For example, the arcane laws that still limit the consumption of raw milk. This doc looks at this continuing battle between the government and small farms.

The Fruit Hunters

Are the fruit offerings at your local store or farmers' market getting repetitive and boring? Then enter the world of The Fruit Hunters, an eccentric group that travels the world in their never-ending search for more exotic and even more delicious fruits. It also features Bill Pullman, which should be selling point enough.

More Than Honey

The continuing mysterious decimation of the world's honeybee population is examined in this Swiss documentary from 2012. Every possible reason for colony collapse disorder, from the overuse of pesticides to the electromagnetic waves from cell phones, is analyzed and debated.

Kings of Pastry

This film by husband and wife documentarian team D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hedges -- the former probably best known for his 1967 Bob Dylan documentary "Dont Look Back" -- takes a look at the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition, wherein a group of world class pastry chefs compete for the prestigious award. It. Is. Great.

A Place at the Table

From the same production team that brought you the pivotal 2008 doc "Food, Inc." comes this 2012 look at the issue of food security in the U.S. The film examines the issue through the eyes of three people who are "food insecure," including a single mother, a fifth-grader in Colorado, and a second-grade girl from Mississippi.

Spinning Plates

"Spinning Plates" takes viewers behind the scenes of the independent restaurant business by focusing on three very different establishments: A cutting-edge Michelin-rated gastronomical experience in Chicago, a 150-year-old family-run country dining joint in Iowa, and a new mom-and-pop Mexican eatery in Tucson.

The Moo Man

This 2012 doc takes us across the pond to England and follows Steve Hook, the owner of a small dairy farm that specializes in producing raw milk, and his struggles to stay in business against the pressures from the country's supermarkets.

Sushi: The Global Catch

A perfect companion piece to the wonderful "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" -- also available on Netflix Instant -- this doc looks at the big picture by following the trajectory of sushi over the past 30 years from the Tokyo street vending scene to the global culinary phenomenon it is now.

The Harvest/La Cosecha

More than 400,000 kids toil in horrific conditions for very little pay in our country's fields. This 2010 documentary takes a hard look at the plight of children migrant workers who harvest the food we all eat.

Hot Coffee

In 1994, a 79-year-old woman spilled coffee from McDonald's onto her lap, leaving third degree burns. She sued the restaurant chain and was awarded $2.86 million from a New Mexico jury. This film is about the specifics of the lawsuit, the cultural phenomenon that followed, and what's happened to our country's legal system as a result.

Want recipes and food news emailed directly to you? Sign up for the new Food newsletter here!

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading