From honey bees to tiny houses to TEDTalks on Capitalism and Humanity’s Future, we’ve assembled a complete list of documentaries and shows on Netflix & Hulu that would interest our fellow homesteaders.
Leave a comment below and let us know which ones are your favorite, and which programs we missed!
- Food & Agriculture Documentaries
- Health Documentaries
- Gardening Documentaries
- Homesteader Living
- Energy & Sustainability Documentaries
- Animal & Livestock Documentaries
- Insect Documentaries
- Community, World, & Lifestyle Documentaries
- Science & Nature Documentaries
- Business & Politics Documentaries
Director Robert Kenner’s provocative, Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the food industry’s harmful effects on human health and the environment.
Hungry For Change
This documentary exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries use to keep consumers coming back for more.
This film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better.
A small group of workers toils to overcome corporate greed and end slavery and abuse in America’s fields, revealing what actually feeds our country.
This provocative documentary tells the story of farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities but were forced to stop.
Rural family farms are faced with falling agriculture prices and our greenhouse gas production is leading towards certain danger. In the state of Vermont an idea is brewing that could change the entire country and every farm along with it: Cow Power.
This documentary follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks in an effort to get healthier.
TEDTalks: Chew On This
Anti-obesity, sustainable seafood, vegetarianism, white bread, humane foie gras, school lunches, food science, and way more. 14 episodes make up this season of TEDTalks exploring food topics.
Using engaging storytelling through endearing characters and beautiful visuals, this documentary aims to investigate the case for milk as a nutritious food.
Forks Over Knives
According to the research of two food scientists, the popularity of processed foods has led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.
Inspiring and rich, Ingredients unearths the roots of the local food movement and digs into the stories of the world-class chefs, sustainability-minded farmers and impassioned activists transforming our broken food system.
In Organic We Trust
Our food system is broken: Is Organic the answer? It’s time to reveal the true meaning of organic and look beyond the label for solutions. Change is happening from the soil up.
Our Daily Poison
Pesticides, additives, food coloring and packaging. A topic concerning each and every one of us. This is an investigative documentary that sets out to answer this question and reviews many scientific studies that have been largely ignored.
A fascinating look at how American agricultural policy and food culture developed in the 20th century, and how the California food movement rebelled against big agribusiness to launch the local organic food movement.
A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms
A heart-stopping documentary, “A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms” exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production.
Super Size Me
Director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as a guinea pig.
Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead
Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path — including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables — that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health.
Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead 2 is available as well.
This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes of childhood obesity, which has become an ever-more serious medical issue in America.
Vaccines: Calling The Shots
“Nova” examines the science behind vaccines and how diseases that were virtually eradicated are making a comeback thanks to anti-vaccine sentiment.
Ken Burns: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies
This historical examination of cancer spans from ancient times to the present with stories of patients and a look at advances that may lead to a cure.
This documentary explores the declining efficacy of antibiotics and the recent alarming rise of drug-resistant microbes — so-called “superbugs.”
TEDTalks: Defying Disease
Can we outsmart Mother Nature to cure some of the world’s deadliest diseases? These TED speakers propose some astonishing solutions.
Chemerical is an entertaining and informative documentary about the products we use to clean our homes and bodies.
The Human Experiment
Personal stories shed light on the lethal effects of chemicals we use every day and the uphill battle against the industrial giants who create them.
Dirt! The Movie
Dirt! The Movie is an astonishing, humorous and substantial look at the glorious and unappreciated ground beneath our feet. Dirt! reveals how repairing our relationship with dirt can create new possibilities for all life on earth.
The Seeds of Time
This documentary follows agriculturalist Cary Fowler as he stockpiles seeds from around the globe in hopes of averting a future worldwide famine.
The wild world of urban agriculture as told through the journey of a 1986 Dodge pickup that has been transformed into a rolling garden.
The Organic Life
Following a year in the life of Austin, a hopeful organic farmer, and his skeptical girlfriend Casey, this illuminating doc chronicles farm living and shows not only who grows your food, but also how it is grown.
The First Season
Directed by Rudd Simmons (producer of High Fidelity, The Royal Tennenbaums, and Boardwalk Empire) The First Season is a documentary about the trials and tribulations of a couple attempting to survive their first season as dairy farmers.
Exploring whether America still has a sense of community, a man spends a month depending on the goodness of Craigslist posters for his survival.
Tiny: A Story About Living Small
A young couple with no construction experience attempts to build a tiny house in this documentary that contemplates shifting American values.
Across America, independent entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty make a living by harvesting eels, worms, wild mushrooms and more.
From the Great North Woods of Maine to the Alaska North Slope, a group of men live off the land and experience survival in its simplest form.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox
Documentary filmmaker Sara Lamm explores the life of the mental institute escapee, master soap-maker, and self-proclaimed rabbi whose all-natural soap would become a counter-culture cleaning product sensation and a staple of health food stores everywhere.
Fireplace 4K: Crackling Birchwood Fire
OK, so it’s not exactly a documentary.
But, this *is* 60 minutes of glorious fireplace. Sometimes you just gotta turn off the TV, ya know?
Cattleman Kirk Hanna struggled to protect a once prominent way of life in Colorado. Born into ranch life, Hanna became a leader in the environmental ranching movement, setting out to protect encroachment of development and misuse.
TEDTalks: Life Hack
Power poses, memorizing long numbers, the connection between happiness and productivity, sleep, and more ‘life hacks’ you can use throughout your day.
Journalist Res Gehriger investigates how Swiss-based corporation Nestle has plundered the world’s water resources in the name of big business.
Revenge of the Electric Car
Revenge of the Electric Car goes behind the closed doors of the automobile industry to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars.
After World War II, consumer tastes and government policy steer America into a fateful reliance on oil-fueled technology that must and can be broken.
Josh Fox examines the negative effects of natural-gas drilling, from poisoned water sources to unhealthy animals.
Environmental photographer James Balog deploys time-lapse cameras to capture a multiyear record of the world’s changing glaciers.
The Island President
During his presidency of the Maldive Islands, Mohamed Nasheed fights to prevent rising ocean levels from inundating his low-lying archipelago nation.
Journalist Phelim McAleer sets out to discover the truth behind fracking, the controversial method of natural gas extraction.
Exploring the force that sustains all life, this documentary brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water.
Flow: For The Love of Water
Oscilloscope Laboratories presents Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis – and asks, “Can anyone really own water?”
Powerful: Energy For Everyone
Powerful showcases the remarkable achievements and inspiring examples of people and communities pursuing a path of conservation and renewable energy. It explores the obstacles they encounter and introduces power players.
Eleven years in the making, FUEL is the in-depth personal journey of filmmaker and eco-evangelist Josh Ticknell, who takes us on a hip, fast-paced road trip into America’s dependence on foreign oil.
GasHole is a new documentary film about the history of oil prices and the future of alternative fuels. Narrated by Peter Gallagher, the film features a wide range of viewpoints including the US Department of Energy.
Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The invention of synthetic plastic created an era of disposable products. Watertight and endlessly malleable, plastic is the perfect invention. Yet, its miraculous durability is also its curse because it never goes away.
Ecological Design: Inventing the Future
This film illuminates the emergence of ecological design in the 20th Century. Featured are the ideas and prototypes of pioneering designers who have trail-blazed the development of sustainable architecture, cities, energy systems, transport, and industry.
The Natural History of the Chicken
Although chicken is a staple in the diet of most Americans, the history of this tasty bird has yet to be really explored — until now.
More Than Honey
Already hailed as a definitive work on the subject, this comprehensive documentary examines the disappearance of honeybee populations worldwide.
Vanishing of The Bees
This documentary details the economic, political and ecological consequences of a puzzling phenomenon: a dwindling world honeybee population.
The Mystery of the Disappearing Bees
An investigation into a worldwide ecological disaster that could endanger the whole of humanity. The future of our food resources depends on one small insect – the western honey bee, or Apis mellifera.
Learn how factory farming is decimating the planet’s natural resources — and why this crisis has been largely ignored by major environmental groups.
TEDTalks: Animal Voices
Peer inside the minds of animals to gain understanding of their behavior and mental health, as well as the impact humans play in their well-being.
The Life of Birds
Researchers traverse the globe, exploring 42 countries and examining more than 300 species of birds in David Attenborough’s lively documentary series.
TEDTalks: Beasts, Bugs & Bio-wilderment
These discussions unpack new ideas about creatures great and small, and the stories behind these organisms’ past, present and struggles.
Using microscopic cameras and special microphones, this French documentary is a fascinating look at the world of insects and other minute creatures.
Nature: The Gathering Swarm
Explore the worldwide phenomenon of swarm intelligence, as creatures from ants to wildebeest come together in huge numbers with a single purpose.
Nature: The Private Life of Deer
Just a century ago, there were an estimated 1 million deer living on the North American continent; now their numbers exceed 30 million.
Project Wild Thing
Disturbed by his kids’ reliance on electronics, a dad appoints himself nature’s marketing director and launches a campaign to get children outside.
Happy takes viewers on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy.
TEDTalks: How To Start A Movement
With optimism and hope, social activists present tactics for motivating change in governments, businesses, domestic situations and other struggles.
Happy People: A Year In The Taiga
This documentary explores life along the River Yenisei in Russia, where the industrious inhabitants of a rural village truly live off the land.
On The Way To School
In this inspiring documentary, four children from disparate environments around the globe face daunting challenges as they make their way to school.
Renowned artist Vik Muniz joins Brazilian garbage pickers who mine treasure from the trash heaps of Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Gramacho landfill.
TEDTalks: Humanity’s Future
Bold predictions and stern warnings — are we heading for a final countdown or a new frontier? These TED presenters peer into mankind’s future.
Bike City, Great City
Great cities for cycling are better places for everyone. Bike City, Great City is an uplifting ride through cities that are embracing cycling as a liberating, convenient and healthy way to get where you want to go.
Terms And Conditions May Apply
Through interviews with technology thought leaders and futurists, this timely documentary examines the erosion of privacy in the digital age.
Free The Mind
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson explores using yoga and meditation to ease the suffering of two war veterans with PTSD and a child with anxiety.
The Inexplicable Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson
Host Tyson reveals how cutting-edge technology enables modern scientists to explore the wonders of the universe as never before.
TEDTalks: Inexplicable Connections
A mushroom suit? Light bulbs that transmit data? Watch TED speakers make ingenious, unexpected solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.
Mushroom suits? Very cool.
Nature’s Great Events
This series looks at how seasonal changes cause shifting weather patterns and ocean currents, creating the conditions for spectacular wildlife events.
The world is a big, dangerous place for these small creatures. Zoom in to see the daily lives of these tiny animals within their hidden environments.
This documentary reveals the ecological cost of two centuries of American dam building, from degraded waterways to the loss of wildlife habitat.
Three independent creators use the hottest new tool for raising money, crowdfunding, to try to make their dreams come true in the digital age.
TEDTalks: The Capitalism Paradox
As the world economy muddles through “the great recession,” how will capitalism reinvent itself? TED speakers place their bets and discuss prosperity.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision, this film explores the mounting struggle between money and American democracy.
Back to Eden
Organic gardener and master arborist Paul Gautschi shares the story of his 55 years in sustainable horticulture. He’s a homesteader who raises crops that sustain his family and friends.
Documentaries No Longer Streaming
We couldn’t find these documentaries streaming anymore, but they’ve been available in the past and are worth checking out:
So, what did we miss?
Leave a comment below with any documentaries you’d recommend!