300 episodes

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

The Food Programme BBC

    • Food
    • 4.4, 531 Ratings

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

    Last Orders: Does coronavirus spell boom or bust for Britain’s drinks sector?

    Last Orders: Does coronavirus spell boom or bust for Britain’s drinks sector?

    Alcoholic drinks are not just big business in Britain - they are an essentially social business.

    Whether it's hitting your local with colleagues after work, raising a reception toast to newly-weds or selecting a favourite bottle to accompany dinner at a special restaurant, those traditional opportunities to buy and sell alcohol have been all but wiped out under lockdown.

    As Jaega Wise discovers, pubs, bars, restaurants and the drinks producers who supply them have been some of the hardest hit by virus control measures.

    But at the same time, alcohol sales have soared in recent weeks: retailers have enjoyed a boom in online orders, as have the producers and venues who've been able to adapt and target this new, stay-at-home market.

    So what does this mean for the British drinks sector in the longer term - and, once we're allowed to meet mates down the pub again, just how significantly will the UK's social landscape have changed?

    Presented by Jaega Wise, produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.

    • 28 min
    Joe Wicks: A Life Through Food, through lockdown

    Joe Wicks: A Life Through Food, through lockdown

    When Joe Wicks, the personal trainer, started making Instagram videos in his kitchen in 2014, he couldn't have imagined he'd become author of the second biggest selling UK cookbook of all time. He built a social media brand with millions of followers, nay disciples, on Instagram and YouTube who came for the quick healthy recipes and online fitness workouts.

    And then, just as he was about to embark on a tour of UK primary schools, the Coronavirus pandemic swept the world and the UK. We were told to stay at home. Schools closed. Overnight, Joe came up with an idea. What if he could keep P.E lessons running from people's front rooms?

    In this programme Sheila catches up with 'The Body Coach' to hear how the huge spotlight on him during lockdown has affected him and his family. And there's a chance to listen again to what happened when Sheila and Joe cooked together in 2019.

    Presented by Sheila Dillon.
    Produced by Clare Salisbury.

    • 28 min
    The Kitchen Front: How wartime food strategies influenced our eating ethos

    The Kitchen Front: How wartime food strategies influenced our eating ethos

    Making do, digging for victory, the hedgerow harvest, the garden front: food and farming was front and centre during the Second World War, with hearty phrases like these encouraging the population to pull together and do their bit for the national diet.

    Now, 75 years after Victory in Europe was declared, we’re hearing similar language in political speeches and across the media, as we “wage war” against coronavirus, in a country under lockdown.

    The rhetoric might be extreme – but as Sheila Dillon discovers, there are lessons to be learnt from the wartime eating ethos; particularly in this current climate of store-cupboard cooking, making do and reducing food waste.

    In fact, the war years marked a period when British diets and health actually improved. They also paved the way for agriculture’s Green Revolution, the expansion of processed and industrially produced edibles, and the drive towards cheap and plentiful food for all.

    As the UK marks a VE Day anniversary like no other, Sheila Dillon hears how the food legacy of WWII has influenced our modern diets - and considers what lessons we could still learn from the wartime eating ethos.

    Presented by Sheila Dillon; produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.

    • 28 min
    Sheffield: A story of a city through its food

    Sheffield: A story of a city through its food

    Leyla Kazim finds the independent spirit of Sheffield’s self-employed ‘little mesters’, who once combined to power the city’s steel industry, is now being channelled into new models for how food and drink can shape the future of cities. To guide her through the city’s story, artist Pete McKee and musician Richard Hawley tell Leyla what food was like in Sheffield when they were growing up, what’s changed and how a bottle of table sauce called Henderson’s Relish has become iconic.
    She has pie, chips and peas and a few drops of ‘the black stuff’ with Kane Yeardley who runs pubs and bars in the city, roasts coffee and brews beer with his company True North. Jules Gray from Hop Hideout bottle shop talks about striking out to move to run a bar, Matt Bigland who owns the city’s Cutlery Works food hall talks about the regeneration happening north of the city centre and Professor Vanessa Toulmin and Tim Nye sit down for a coffee at Marmadukes café near the famous Crucible Theatre to explain why the future of Sheffield’s independents could be opening up in the heart of the city.

    Presenter: Leyla Kazim
    Producer: Tom Bonnett
    Picture: Meat 'N' Tater Pie by Pete McKee

    • 29 min
    Bonus Podcast: More from Sheffield's Pete McKee and Richard Hawley

    Bonus Podcast: More from Sheffield's Pete McKee and Richard Hawley

    Hear an extended version of the interview with artist Pete McKee and musician Richard Hawley from the programme Sheffield: A Story of a City Through It's Food. Picture: Meat 'N' Tater by Pete McKee

    • 20 min
    Covid-19: The Food Waste Dimension.

    Covid-19: The Food Waste Dimension.

    Dan Saladino investigates how the coronavirus crisis has not only resulted in vast amounts of food being wasted but also saved and redirected to feed people in need.

    The global food system has been exposed to levels of disruption not seen since World War II. According to Andre Laperriere, of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Covid-19 has led to levels of food waste in developed economies increasing from around 30 per cent to 40 per cent of everything that's produced, distributed and consumed. Many farmers in Europe and north America have been unable to harvest their crops, supplies of food inside restaurants have been left uneaten and dairy farmers have had to dispose of millions of litres of milk.

    However, Covid-19 is also leading many people to rethink supply chains, reinvent national food systems and innovate. Dan hears about some of these ideas now being put into practice. He finds out how 'Disco Soups', online events that are taking place around the world combining cooking, music and dance is saving tonnes of food going to waste (and providing fun and social interaction).

    Meanwhile, specialist cheesemakers around the UK are exploring new ways of selling their cheese after restaurants, pubs and cafes were closed for the lockdown. One solution is a forthcoming British Cheese Weekender. This free online event will see cheese makers and experts present tastings and tutorials. The nation is being encouraged to buy cheese from small scale producers and eat along. This way it's hoped hundreds of cheesemakers at risk of going out of business can be saved.

    Dan also speaks to Tristram Stuart, the food campaigner and author of Waste: Uncovering The Global Food Scandal, about his efforts over two decades to stop good food being wasted and hears how some of the ideas and networks created during that time could provide answers to how we can create a more sustainable food system in the post Covid-19 world.

    Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

    For more information on the British Cheese Weekender go to the Academy of Cheese website: https://academyofcheese.org/british-cheese-weekender/
    and for information on setting up your own Disco Soup find out more from the Slow Food Youth Network: https://www.slowfood.com/what-we-do/international-events/world-disco-soup-day/ and look for the Step-by-Step guide.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
531 Ratings

531 Ratings

SH20161220 ,

Great podcast. Keep it up.

Great podcast and I find the information relevant and insightful. Can you please stop the advert at the end for the IMC podcast? The presenters are insufferably smug and condescending.

Steve the food ,


Needs an update! The presents and format are now sounding very tired.

cmcg28 ,

Love it. For Hungry Minds

I always learn new things listening to this and it is a great podcast to download for a walk or journey. Loved the ice cream episode and the recent one on bonfire food. Also they get really interesting people. Joe Wicks changed my mind about him and the Nigella episode with Diana Henry was great. It’s good.

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