Looking for your next true crime fix? Netflix’s latest documentary series puts a new spin on the trope, focusing on the shady and unlawful tactics of the food industry. Here’s why Rotten should be on your radar…
What’s the premise?
The six-episode series tackles corruption, crime, and controversy in the food industry, interviewing farmers, scientists and other industry professionals to uncover the disturbing truth about the foods we eat every day. It’s a vital, but unappetising watch.
What topics do the episodes cover?
To be specific, the hour-long episodes cover: honey manufacturing, peanut allergies, garlic growing, chicken production, the dairy industry and the global fish crisis. There’s a lot of focus on the shocking rise of ‘fake food’ – like filler fish added to sushi or parmesan cheese cut with sawdust – to reduce costs, which is essentially fraud, and other ways mega-corporations control our food supply without us realising.
What are critics saying?
Rotten has been praised by IndieWire.com for its “unexpected layers” and the way it focuses on both personal stories and huge economic factors. NonFics.com gave it a less than stellar review, pointing out how the inconsistent pacing of the episodes can sometimes leave viewers feeling impatient, but still said it was a must-watch. “If these items are a part of your diet — or in the case of the peanut episode, if they can’t be — you’ll want to know what is covered and uncovered by the show,” they wrote.
Anything else to know?
If you’re worried whether Rotten will gross you out, don’t be. It’s not a series focused on guts and gore, and is more psychologically disturbing than gross. It will probably make you feel uneasy about some of the foods you consume, and might inspire you to be warier in the supermarket.
Series 1 of Rotten is available to watch on Netflix now