Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
Brexit and Food: How is it working out?
Three years after the UK left the EU, and two years after the end of the transition period, Jaega Wise speaks to some UK food producers about if and how Brexit is still affecting their businesses. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed with the EU allows UK businesses tariff-free trade with the EU, but as some quickly discovered at the end of January 2021, "third country" trading rules must be followed. For most in the food sector that has meant more paperwork, having food checked by vets, and longer waits at ports.
Jaega Wise speaks to small, medium and large business owners to find out about the ongoing impact, she hears how cocoa beans and cardboard boxes are being stockpiled in a railway arch, how growers in the Lea Valley are fighting for staff, and how a single test for water quality could shut down exports for weeks.
The programme also hears from Professor of Economics at Bristol University Richard Davies, who explains how he has calculated the additional cost Brexit has added to all our food bills, and why he does not think the added costs are likely to come down. Plus we hear how Northern Irish producers are still being affected by the Protocol.
Despite all this, the Food and Drink Federation says trade is almost back to where it was before Brexit, but there are still many challenges that are impacting confidence in the industry.
Presented by Jaega Wise
Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
The Wild West of Whisky: From Cask Investments to Dram Scams
Whisky has long been associated with money and wealth, but in recent years prices of rare casks and limited bottlings have soared. A cask of Islay whisky sold for a record-breaking £16 million last year, and the number of cask investment companies is growing, with many of them promising investors big profits and the chance to own their very own cask of Scotch whisky.
Behind the headlines and dollar signs, some industry experts are concerned at the practices of certain companies, worried that their promised returns are unrealistic and questioning their legality to trade in some cases.
We hear from whisky consultant and broker Blair Bowman about why he feels many companies are “flying way too close to the sun”.
Jaega Wise speaks to Pete Allison from new Edinburgh whisky blender Woven about the rapid rise in cask prices, the impact it’s having on his business, and why he feels the bubble is destined to burst eventually.
Producer Robbie Armstrong meets Jennifer Rose, presenter of the Whisky Sisters podcast, to hear about her experience purchasing a cask of whisky.
Jaega also visits Holyrood Distillery to learn about their cask programme, which allows whisky aficionados to build a strong relationship with them as their whisky matures, and why they are clear that buying one of their casks is not an investment opportunity.
We also speak to Glenfarclas about a high profile £150,000 robbery at their distillery last year, while auction director Isabel Graham-Yooll gives her tips on spotting counterfeit whisky. Finally, whisky broker Mark Littler shares his tips on the key things to look out for when buying a cask of whisky.
Presented by Jaega Wise.
Produced by Robbie Armstrong.
Like so many of us, Dan Saladino knows he needs to be in better shape, but why do his attempts to make a change keep failing?
There's one important question he needs to resolve, when it comes to diet, are his family helping or hindering his eating habits?
In his search for better health in 2023, Dan is joined by Dr Michael Mosley, inventor of the 5:2 diet, keto coach Panagiotis Kottas and the Whitingtons, the family behind the television documentary "Fixing Dad" in which two sons stepped in to save their father from a steep decline after a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.
Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Shellfish: A Very British Image Crisis
When was the last time you tucked into cockle pie? Or stirred clams into a sumptuous pasta or stew?
These bivalves are plentiful all around the UK coastline, tied up with the diets and fortunes of coastal communities for millennia. Many species can be efficiently farmed at minimal cost to the environment. Their nutritional value stacks up against mussels and oysters. And yet our desire for these 'uglier' shellfish is at risk of disappearing.
In this programme we meet chefs, fishermen and food thinkers trying to change that. One of Wales’s best chefs Nathan Davies put Welsh razor clams on his heat winning fish course on BBC Two's Great British Menu. Fisherman Tom Flatt who thinks there's a sustainable fishing future in hand dived shellfish. Cambridge scientist David Willer whose research could lead to environmentally sound shellfish farms that fight malnutrition across the world. Welsh food writer and thinker Carwyn Graves wants us to dwell on food traditions from the past in order to make our own in the future, and so we hear from people living in the Welsh village of Penclawdd, where cockles have been part of residents' lives for as far back as they can remember.
The problem they all face is the same; How to convince the UK to see past their ugly exterior and put shellfish back on the table.
Presented by Sheila Dillon.
Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
Hangovers: a guide to the morning after
For many, drinking is part of our national identity but the immediate after effects of alcohol, it turns out, are an under investigated part of the experience. This week Jaega Wise looks hangovers from all angles. from science, history and culture.
She talks to Dr Sally Adams Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Birmingham about what a hangover does to our bodies and minds. Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall is a writer who for his book Hungover: A History of the Morning After and One Man's Quest for a Cure subjected himself to serious self-experiment in search of a cure. Jaega talks to him about his decade of drinking and investigation into the history of the hangover. She also meets Prof David Nutt for a drink. Previously the Government’s chief drug advisor, he is now trying to create a replacement to alcohol that will create a pleasant effect without issues the next day.
There are also suggestions for hangover cures from:
Sam Evans, Wynne Evans, Noddy Holder, Ash Sarkar, Fred Sirieix, Michel Roux Jr., Russell Kane, Maisie Adam, Ania Magliano, Marlon Davis, Adam Flemming
Food, Philosophy & Football: Christmas with Delia Smith
In food, there are household names. And then, there is Delia Smith.
So synonymous is she with cooking that her first name was included in the Collins English Dictionary in 2001. For four decades, her TV cookery programmes were primetime viewing, and when they ceased in 2013, she moved her cooking lessons online. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her recipe books. Her seasonal recipes were so popular that supermarkets would run out of ingredients when she cooked with them. - Notably cranberries in 1995. So influential were her books and broadcasts that Queen Elizabeth II made Delia Smith a Companion of Honour.
At Christmas, Sheila Dillon invites Delia, now 81, into her kitchen to reflect on her long career in food and cooking, but also to talk also about other passions. Her lifelong interest in spirituality and philosophy as reflected in her 2022 book, 'You Matter', politics, and football, and her dedicated work to make Norwich City Football Club a food destination.
Jamie Oliver and Angela Hartnett tell Sheila about the legacy Delia has left on their own careers in food. Cooking teacher Angela Holding bakes Delia's sticky toffee pudding and talks about the legacy Delia's books have had on aspiring cooks everywhere.
Presented by Sheila Dillon.
Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio West & Wales.