Having tackled the topics of corruption and injustice through critically acclaimed documentaries like 13th, The Keepers and Making a Murderer, Netflix is setting its sights on the corporate world and global food production. Zero Point Zero Productions' (Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, The Mind of a Chef) food expose Rotten and Alex Gibney's Dirty Money are both set to premiere in January 2018.
Here's a rundown on what viewers can expect from both new series:
Rotten (January 5, 2018) "gives food the true crime treatment, diving deep into the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and real dangers behind your everyday eating habits. 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."
The topics for the first season of Rotten include:
"Lawyers, Guns and Honey" – Explores the new global honey business, and largest food fraud investigation and prosecution in history—a scam known as Honeygate.
"The Peanut Problem" – In the last twenty years, there's been a surge of people suffering from severe food allergies. A look at the swelling body of science around this change, and the accountability of restaurateurs in caring for their most vulnerable customers.
"Garlic Breath" – A lucrative and controversial commerce relationship between the U.S. and China forms the backdrop for a David-and-Goliath tale of loyalty, betrayal and revenge on the American garlic scene.
"Big Bird" – From the lowliest hen to the richest magnate, the size and scale of chicken-growing has determined the fate of every player in this expansive food chain.
"Milk Money" – To boost profits, some dairy farmers are switching to produce upscale organic milk, or even "raw" unpasteurized milk, but it comes with the risk of pathogens which can sicken and even kill consumers.
"Cod Is Dead" – In the wake of overfishing in New England, the US government stepped in to regulate and save the fisheries. The unintended result was a wave of consolidation that set the stage for massive criminal exploitation.
Dirty Money (January 26, 2018) has a different director examining a different instance of crime and corruption in the business world "using first-hand accounts from perpetrators and their victims, combined with rarely-seen video footage, this addictive series keeps viewers on the edge of their seats."
The topics for the first season of Dirty Money include:
"Hard Nox" (Directed by Alex Gibney) – Gibney reveals shocking new details about VW's corporate deceit, and exposes the unholy alliance between governments and automakers that allowed the automaker to put tens of thousands of lives at risk — all for the sake of a $500 part.
"The Confidence Man" (Directed by Fisher Stevens) – A rollicking profile of the rise and reign of TRUMP Inc. Weaving together a tapestry of tales in real estate booms and busts, Stevens lays out how Donald Trump's business career transformed from epic failures into a consummate branding machine that propelled him into office.
"Payday" (Directed by Jesse Moss) – Targeting unsuspecting Americans, a group of payday lenders made millions off small loans with undisclosed charges, inflated interest rates and incomprehensible rules. But the way the laws are written, is that a crime or just business?
"Drug Short" (Directed by Erin Lee Carr) – Wall Street short-sellers expose a scam that regulators overlook: how Big Pharma gouges patients in need of life-saving drugs.
"Cartel Bank" (Directed by Kristi Jacobson) – For decades, HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels. Senator Elizabeth Warren, dogged journalists and prosecutors try to hold the bankers to account. But will they be judged "too big to jail?"
"The Maple Syrup Heist" (Directed by Brian McGinn) – In Canada, maple syrup is worth more than oil. When $20 million of syrup goes missing, the trail leads back to an epic battle between cartels and the little guy.