Planning on staying in and watching a movie this weekend? We love the convenience of Netflix Instant, but are consistently underwhelmed by its organization, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. Here's our list of ten great food-related movies and TV shows available to watch instantly:
If you are a Netflix member, you can click on the links below to check out the movies, add them to your Instant Queue, or watch them immediately.
• 1 Food, Inc.: If you've never read The Omnivore's Dilemma or Fast Food Nation, this documentary is an eye-opening look at the state of our current food systems. And even if the realities of factory farming are old news to you, it is a stark reminder of why these issues matter.
• 2 Like Water for Chocolate: This dreamy Mexican film tells the tale of a woman who, thwarted in love, discovers she can transfer her emotions through the food she cooks.
• 3 Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Anthony Bourdain traveling the world, eating regional specialties, and saying witty things. What more do you need? Nearly all of the episodes he has made since 2005 are available to watch instantly.
• 4 The Garden: Nominated for an Oscar, this powerful 2008 documentary tells the story of the South Central Farmers, a group of families who had the largest urban farm in the country until they were evicted by the land's original owner, who may or may not have made a shady backroom deal with the Los Angeles City Council.
• 5 Delicatessen: Although it is not exactly appetizing, we love this darkly comic French film about an unemployed circus clown who moves into a new apartment building and falls in love with his neighbor, the butcher's daughter. One complication: her father is actually murdering people and selling the meat to tenants.
• 6 The Real Dirt on Farmer John: This fascinating portrait of John Peterson — an Illinois farmer who over the course of several decades made his farm a hippie haven, lost nearly all his land, was vilified by his neighbors, and slowly built a successful community-supported organic farm — also manages to explore the larger changes in America's relationship to farming and food.
• 7 Kings of Pastry: Like an episode of real-life Top Chef, this documentary gives a glimpse of the highly-regarded French pastry competition, Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Drama, tears and shattering chocolate towers!
• 8 Eat Drink Man Woman: We have such a soft spot for Ang Lee's Oscar-nominated film about a Taiwanese father (and master chef) who makes an elaborate Sunday dinner every week for his three daughters. It's worth watching just for the impressive Chinese cooking techniques.
• 9 The Botany of Desire: Not solely a food movie, this film based on a Michael Pollan book spends half of its time looking at the ways two food plants — apples and potatoes — have shaped human desires.
• 10 King Corn: King Corn takes a look at the industrialization of our food system through its most ubiquitous vegetable: corn. The demise of family farms, government food subsidies, and high fructose corn syrup — corn ties it all together.
Do you have any recommendations for food-related movies or TV shows available on Netflix Instant?