Once you've eked out Netflix's Christmas content and the New Year's Eve hangover has worn off, you might be ready for some more sobering, critical viewing. Something you can really get your teeth into, that isn't chocolate or a discounted mince pie.
Well, an upcoming Netflix documentary series could be just the ticket. Rotten, a six-part series that drops on 5th January, promises to "[give] food the true crime treatment," exposing food industry waste, fraud and corruption, and its devastating consequences on our health.
"The food industry is under full-scale assault. The crisis is global." From the dramatic first few words of Rotten's trailer, it's clear the show has the potential to dramatically alter how we shop for and consume food.
The series, from the makers of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and The Mind of a Chef, looks set to be as eye-opening and buzzworthy as some of Netflix's other forays into sustainability, animal cruelty and human health, including Blackfish (2013), Cowspiracy (2014) and What the Health (2017).
"Rotten gives food the true crime treatment," a spokesperson for the streaming service said. "In a world where huge global supply-chains are increasingly intertwined and consolidated, this series starts on your dinner plate… and follows the money to the shocking consequences – intended or not – of regulation, innovation and greed.
“Local farming is fading as profit margins decide what food makes it to our plates... Rotten exposes the fraud, corruption, and the consequences on our health of today’s global food industry. Nobody’s hands are clean.”
The themed episodes go beyond the meat, fish and dairy industries, with a whole episode dedicated to the scam known as "Honeygate", another on "The Peanut Problem" – namely a surge in the number of people affected by severe food allergies – and another on how US-Chinese trade affects "the American garlic scene".
The other episodes offer up fresh takes on chick farming, the dangers of producing organic and unpasteurised milk, and the fallout from overfishing in New England. Rotten may not be the easiest watch, but what better motivation to live more ethically and sustainably in 2018?
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