Happy Friday! I hope that everyone had a great 4th of July holiday. It’s Friday, so that means I’m linking up for Friday Five 2.0 with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey and Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness. There are no Friday Five 2.0 themes for the month of July, so this week I’m talking about documentaries.
If you read my Runfessions post last week, you know that I mentioned watching more movies/documentaries on Netflix. This made me think about past documentaries that I have watched an enjoyed. While only one documentary listed below is about running, I think you’ll enjoy the other documentaries if you decide to watch them 🙂
From Fat to Finish Line (Netflix)
From Fat to Finish Line documents the journey of 12 formerly obese people from across the country who team up to run a jaw-dropping 200 mile, Ragnar Relay Race. The race spans from Miami to Key West, and is a scenic but challenging course that would test the endurance of even the most seasoned athlete. The team must continually run, day and night, to make it to the finish line. As they overcome the obstacles on the course, you’ll learn about the obstacles they faced on their weight loss journeys.
I cannot say enough good things about this documentary. Each runner had their own reasons for losing weight and each story was inspiring. As someone that would like to run a Ragnar race, I loved seeing the friendships and sense of community from this team.
Food Inc (Netflix)
Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by filmmaker Robert Kenner. The Academy Award-nominated film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film’s first segment examines the industrial production of meat (chicken, beef, and pork), calling it inhumane and economically and environmentally unsustainable. The second segment looks at the industrial production of grains and vegetables (primarily corn and soy beans), again labeling this economically and environmentally unsustainable. The film’s third and final segment is about the economic and legal power, such as food labelling regulations, of the major food companies, the profits of which are based on supplying cheap but contaminated food, the heavy use of petroleum-based chemicals (largely pesticides and fertilizers), and the promotion of unhealthy food consumption habits by the American public.
This film was released quite a few years ago so I’m sure some of you may have already seen it. This film changed the way I shopped for groceries. While I don’t always get organic for every single thing, I try to do my research before buying certain food items.
Just Eat It (Amazon Prime)
We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Filmmakers and food lovers, Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm and retail, right to the back of their own fridge. In a deliciously entertaining challenge, they pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food.
I watched this documentary last week and it was both eye-opening and infuriating for me. To see the amount of food waste that we produce was astonishing. I still cannot get over that fact that so many fruits and vegetables are discarded because they might have a “defect” – not the right color, not big enough, long enough, etc. Basically if it’s not “pretty” it will never make it to the grocery store. Oh and don’t even get me started on the amount of food that stores just throw out in dumpsters! This documentary really makes you think about what YOU can do to eliminate the amount of food waste in your own home as well. For years I have purchased discounted produce from my local Stop & Shop supermarket. Basically it’s “ugly” produce, but it’s still totally useable. At least I know I can continue doing this to make a difference, even if it’s a small difference.
The Barkley Marathons (Neflix)
The Barkley Marathons is an ultramarathon trail race held in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee. Runners may elect a “fun run” of 60 miles (97 km) or the full course of 100 miles (160 km) (distances are approximate). The race is limited to a 60-hour period, and takes place in late March or early April of each year. With 54,200 feet (16,500 m) of accumulated vertical climb, the 100-mile run is considered to be one of the more challenging ultramarathons held in the United States, if not the world. It was first run in 1989 and, as of 2017, about 55% of the races had ended with no finishers.
Y’all, this sh*t is cray-cray! I really don’t have any other way to describe it, just watch it! Check out some of the craziness captured on social media for this year’s race.
Vegucated is a 2011 American documentary film that explores the challenges of converting to a vegan diet. It “follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. The documentary addresses the resistance that some people feel towards vegetarianism and veganism, the disconnect between farm animals and the purchasing of meat, the origins of omnivorism and the ethical, environmental and health benefits of a vegan diet.
While I don’t know if I can ever make the switch to a vegan diet, I really appreciated that this documentary showed 3 real life examples of people trying to switch from a meat-based to plant based diet. Not only did the documentary have statistics, but the real-life stories really spoke to me. I think that within the next few years I’ll go vegetarian (I already drastically cut my meat intake) and this film provided a lot of great tips on alternative sources of protein, etc.
So that’s it! Those are my top 5 documentaries that I have enjoyed over the years. I hope that you see a few that you would like to check out!
Do you have any favorite documentaries?