Web Original: Critic’s Notebook: What to Watch Tonight


My Netflix rental history paints a clear picture of my obsession with food. Favorite flicks include Big Night, Eat Drink Man Woman, Mostly Martha and Ratatouille. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the upcoming Julie & Julia. But lately, I’ve been watching a lot of food-themed documentaries, one of which stands heads and shoulders above the crowd: The Real Dirt on Farmer John. It tells the story of John Peterson, a third generation farmer in Illinois who survived the wave of industrialized agriculture that wiped out most small farms in the 1980s. The movie is a must-see for all doc-loving foodies—just make sure you watch with a homemade batch of heirloom popcorn with local butter, not that the mass-produced microwave stuff.