293 episodes

The Food Chain examines the business, science and cultural significance of food, and what it takes to put food on your plate.

The Food Chain BBC

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 59 Ratings

The Food Chain examines the business, science and cultural significance of food, and what it takes to put food on your plate.

    The blind cooks

    The blind cooks

    Three people who lost their vision as adults tell Emily Thomas how they learnt to cook again, becoming so accomplished in the kitchen that they became restaurateurs, cookbook writers, food podcast makers and Masterchef winners. They explain how their relationships with food have changed, and why cooking with just four senses can make you a better chef.

    (Picture: Payal Kapoor, Simon Mahoney, Christine Hà. Credit: BBC/Julie Soefer Photography)

    If you would like to get in touch with the show please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk

    Contributors:

    Christine Hà, chef, writer and owner of ‘The Blind Goat’ restaurant
    Payal Kapoor, host of ‘Rasoi ke Rahasya’ YouTube channel
    Simon Mahoney, author ‘First Catch Your Rabbit!: Or Cooking Without Fear’

    • 28 min
    America's 'food apartheid'

    America's 'food apartheid'

    Millions of Americans live in so-called ‘food deserts’ - areas where it’s hard to access fresh affordable food. For people who aren’t able to travel to other neighbourhoods to do their food shopping, this might mean microwave meals bought from the local gas station are the only way to feed themselves. Emily Thomas meets two people who live in areas where fresh food is hard to come by in Albany, NY State and St Louis, Missouri. They explain why they reject the term food desert in favour of ‘food apartheid’ - which they say addresses the food system in its entirety, including race.

    (Picture: two shopping trollies with food, credit: Getty/BBC)

    If you would like to get in touch with the show please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk


    Contributors:
    Tyrean Lewis, Founder and CEO of Heru Urban Farming
    Roni Minter

    • 26 min
    The man taking on fast food

    The man taking on fast food

    Carlo Petrini is leading a food revolution - one that fights to protect local, traditional ingredients and farming methods in the face of a standardised, industrialised food system.

    From a protest against a McDonald's in the heart of Rome, to a network of more than 100,000 members in 160 countries, his Slow Food movement strives for a world where producers are fairly treated and the planet is better protected.

    Carlo tells Emily Thomas the story of his life and activism and why he believes that a post-pandemic world offers a profound opportunity for economic, environmental and social change - should we choose to take it.

    Producer: Simon Tulett

    If you would like to get in touch with the show please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk

    (Picture: Carlo Petrini. Credit: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images/BBC)

    • 31 min
    How to love chillies

    How to love chillies

    Chillies can be hard to love at first, but they are integral to the cuisines of many countries. So what do you do if hot peppers are at the heart of your food culture, but your child can’t stand the heat?

    Emily Thomas is joined by three cooks and parents. Each of them grew up in a food culture where chillies are important, but are now bringing up their own children in a country where hot peppers have less significance. We hear why you might want a child to develop a taste for chilli, how young they should be introduced to it, and whether you should ever resort to bribery.

    Guests: MiMi Aye, Sunrita Dutta, Mei Li.

    • 26 min
    Portion distortion

    Portion distortion

    Serving sizes have increased dramatically in recent decades. It’s happened so subtly that many of us simply don't realise, but it’s having a serious impact on our health and our planet. So, how can we reverse it?

    Emily Thomas learns how food manufacturers and clever marketers have nudged us into buying ever larger portions, leveraging ultra cheap ingredients and our own psychology. We hear that the phenomenon is so pervasive it’s also crept into the home, where many of us have lost any concept of what an appropriate portion is.

    Given the increasing awareness of the poor health and environmental outcomes linked to overconsumption, we find out what regulators and companies are doing to shrink portions back to a more sustainable size, and ask whether the real answer might lie in a fundamental shift in the way we all value food.

    Producer: Simon Tulett

    If you would like to get in touch with the show please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk

    (Picture: A woman drinking from a giant coffee cup. Credit: Getty/BBC)

    Contributors:

    Pierre Chandon, professor of marketing and director of the INSEAD Sorbonne University Behavioural Lab, Paris;
    Theresa Marteau, director of the behaviour and health research unit at Cambridge University;
    Denise Chen, chief sustainability officer at Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Hong Kong.

    • 31 min
    A year in the life of a Chinese restaurant

    A year in the life of a Chinese restaurant

    Anti-Asian hate has surged since the coronavirus outbreak, and some of the most common targets have been Chinese food businesses.

    Tamasin Ford speaks to three people who’ve witnessed the rise of Sinophobia first hand and seen it damage not only their livelihoods, but also their families.

    They explain why they’re not prepared to stay silent, as was often the case for previous generations, and how they plan to use food in the fight against racism and ignorance.

    Producers: Simon Tulett and Sarah Stolarz

    If you would like to get in touch with the show please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk

    (Picture: A person holds a sign during a rally against anti-Asian hate in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Credit: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty/BBC)

    Contributors:

    Patrick Mock, manager of 46 Mott bakery in New York;
    John Li, owner of Dumpling Shack, London;
    Ying Hou, owner of ShanDong MaMa, Melbourne

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

virklund ,

Love to listen!

This is such an eclectic podcast - I learn all kinds of things - food/politics/culture! I enjoy listening as I drive, especially during these pandemic times when the news is always so grim. The interviews are well done, the voices pleasant to listen to, and the content varied and always interesting.

llllllainy ,

Food stories

The host shares interesting food stories and make us think about what goes behind the food we eat every day. Great podcast!

Zanimum ,

Wonderful, varied approach

It never ceases to amaze me how many approaches the program has found to this topic, each of which it handles in an all-around well produced package.

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