Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
Bread: Why should we care more about it?
What difference would it make if more people rejected cheap bread made using the Chorleywood Process, and moved to eating 'better' bread, i.e bread with fewer ingredients? In this episode Sheila Dillon explores why some scientists, campaigners and academics believe we ought to be eating more 'proper' bread, and puts her body to the test to see what difference it could make.
Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and writer, Tim Spector shows Sheila how she can track her blood glucose levels using a sensor to see how her body responds to different kinds of bread, while at the UK Grain Lab event in Nottingham, Sheila meets bakers and campaigners to find out why they believe it matters what kind of bread we eat. In Hendon in North London, a bakery has started producing sourdough bread on a big scale, showing that scaling up production can be done. The bread is being sliced and bagged and sold in supermarkets, with the aim of increasing accessibility to those who cannot easily get to a local bakery.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan
The Food Strategy: Is There One?
Dan Saladino and Sheila Dillon dig deep into the details of the newly published Government Food Strategy.
Produced by Dan Saladino.
Birmingham’s Food System Revolution
The city of Birmingham is about to launch its own ambitious Food System Strategy. It’s vision is to create a bold, fair, sustainable and prosperous food system and economy, where food choices are nutritious and affordable. The strategy faces many challenges – Birmingham has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country, and worrying levels of food poverty with 6.8 % of residents reporting using food banks during lockdown.
Last week the government published its long-awaited Food Strategy for England – a policy paper responding to Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy, a landmark national review into the food system. Reaction has been mixed, with campaigners disappointed that many of the review’s bolder recommendations - like a tax on salt and sugar - haven’t been taken up, and no mention of a Food Bill. So in today’s programme Jaega Wise visits Birmingham to ask if cities could take up the mantle of improving what we eat, and talk to grassroots food groups about the change they want to see. Is it time for cities to step up and drive the food agenda, and far can they go in creating the radical change we need?
Presented by Jaega Wise and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Can we bring food diversity back to the table?
Dan Saladino meets people saving endangered foods and bringing diversity back to our diets.
Groups of scientists, chefs and artists are now finding pioneering ways to rethink the global food system. At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew a programme of events called Food Forever involves exhibitions and installations exploring some of the biggest and most complex questions over the future of our food (including this fantasy world of food abundance by Australian artist Tanya Schultz (Pip & Pop), ranging from biodiversity loss and climate change to under utilised crops and enticing flavours.
Dr James Borrell, a research fellow at Kew, explains why a giant plant in south-western Ethiopia, a valuable source of food, called enset (aka 'false banana') is one of the stories we should all know. Designers, María Fuentenebro and Mario Mimoso (Sharp and Sour) describe the 'Museum of Endangered Food', also on display at Kew, which includes enset.
Meanwhile at The Serpentine Gallery,, artists Cooking Sections, is not only creating installations but influencing menus at restaurants such as Benugo's The Magazine.
Photo: When Flowers Dream, an installation by Pip & Pop, (photographer Roger Wooldridge).
Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
The BBC Food and Farming Awards return for 2022
Sheila Dillon and judges Asma Khan and Michael Caines open nominations for the 2022 BBC Food & Farming Awards, which celebrate people across the UK who've changed lives for the better, through food and drink. To mark the ceremony being held in Wales for the first time, there will be a special new category this year - the BBC Cymru Wales Food Hero award.
Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol
Falafel: A recipe for connection
Falafels are a widely celebrated and much loved food that have become an everyday part of street food culture in many cities across Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Falafel is known for being cheap, easily available, and accessible - no matter what a person's class, background, religious belief or dietary requirements.
There have long been debates about whether falafel belongs or is authentic to any one nation or culture. Spoiler alert: this programme does not try to answer that question! What Leyla sets out to discover is just how different falafel can be depending on the cultural background of the person cooking it. For example, culturally-definitive recipes for the falafel itself, and specific salads, sauces and breads.
In this programme, we explore how falafel is tied up in a political story of food propaganda, and how it’s been used to create division between different nationalities. But also how the food has followed people to different countries at times of conflict, and still provides a constant reminder of good times and home.
We meet market stall traders in Shepherd's Bush who show the diverse make up of different falafel recipes. We meet the Syrian chef who lost a chain of successful restaurants selling falafel during the conflict in Syria. And a London chef who doesn’t understand why his patrons keep ordering it.
Presented by Leyla Kazim
Produced by Robbie Wojciechowski
Entertains, informs and makes me hungry!
Whether you are a passionate home cook or a lover of restaurant food; a fresh fruit aficionado or a devotee of the supermarket ready meal - there’s an episode of The Food Programme to suit your tastes. I’m a long-time listener to this podcast and still look forward to each week’s episode. The content is diverse and always well-researched; the presenters are engaging and enthusiastic about their subject matter. Long-standing hosts such as Sheila Dillon and Dan Saladino feel like trusted old friends, while newer voices bring fresh perspectives and keep things moving.
The great food reset
I could listen to all of this because of the irritating background soundtrack. Why was it needed? What did it add? Total distraction and annoyance.
Jaega does not have much ability as a presenter yet. She needs more insight, more welly and more polish too. She is unable to debate issues with her interviewees and it makes for uncomfortable listening, especially as her delivery is still flat and unengaging. Hopefully she will blossom in those areas but why didn’t she get to cut her teeth somewhere less prestigious, one wonders.