300 episodes

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

The Food Programme BBC

    • Food
    • 4.3, 546 Ratings

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

    Rethink: The Food Dimension.

    Rethink: The Food Dimension.

    As part of the BBC's Rethink series Dan Saladino asks how we can create a better food future for all in a post-Covid world. Among a cast of experts and activists offering their visions of the future are Microbiome expert and geneticist Professor Tim Spector focuses on diet, nutrition and the lessons learnt during the pandemic. Community cook Dee Woods addresses concerns over poverty and how disadvantaged communities can get better access to food.

    Produced by Dan Saladino.

    • 31 min
    Why The Corner Shop Has Come Into Its Own

    Why The Corner Shop Has Come Into Its Own

    Remember March? Before the UK lockdown. Remember desolate supermarket shelves? Toilet rolls, eggs, flour nowhere to be found?

    Where did you turn? Chances are you may have hit the jackpot in your local corner shop.

    Sales in corner shops and independent grocers were up by 63 per cent in the three months to May according to industry analysts Kantar. For many small grocery shops, business has never been better. But as Sheila Dillon finds out, that's gone hand in hand with exceptionally long hours, miles and miles driven to cash & carries, finding new local suppliers, entrepreneurial social distancing solutions, and alot of community support.

    In this programme Sheila checks in with the people running corner shops across the country, and with their customers. She hears from Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing, whose local shops inspired them to write 'The Cornershop Cookbook'. And Babita Sharma, author of 'The Corner Shop: The True Story of the Little Shops - and Shopkeepers - Keeping Britain Going' talks about her experience of growing up 'behind the counter'.

    Presented by Sheila Dillon.
    Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.

    • 28 min
    Seed Stories from the Lockdown

    Seed Stories from the Lockdown

    Dan Saladino meets some of the people who turned to seeds and grew food in the lockdown. As well as supermarket panic buying, seed sellers also saw huge spikes in sales. Seed producer David Price describes how, as lockdown approached, orders from customers increased by around 600 per cent.

    The impact Covid-19 has on food supplies explains some of this. Many farmers who supplied restaurants had to quickly start growing different types of food which they could sell into markets that hadn’t been shut down. Veg box schemes were also seeing unbelievable levels of demand and needed access to more seed to ensure future supplies.

    Lockdown also meant that people gardens were spending more time in them and perhaps experimenting by planting seeds to grow food for the first time. Seed producers became aware that many customers were being motivated by a desire to become more self-sufficient and escape the growing supermarket queues.

    With the help of gardener and writer Alys Fowler Dan finds out more about our changing relationship with seeds and the power and autonomy seed saving provides.
    Phil Howard, Associate Professor at Michigan State University explains how the global supply of seed now rests in a small number of corporate hands.

    In Bristol, Dan meets people who are striving for a new form of food independence during the pandemic, and beginning to grow their own. Another seed producer Fred Groom of Vital Seeds argues that more of us should be saving seeds, growing food and helping to save diversity. He's setting up an online course this summer as a way of recovering some of these lost skills (to find out more go to https://vitalseeds.co.uk/.

    For decades, helping to keep the seed saving flame alive in gardens and allotments have been various communities around the UK who have continued to rely on them for fresh food. Among them are people who arrived from the Caribbean in the 1950s. Dan meets two inspirational Jamaican growers, Mr Brown and Leon Walker, both are evangelical about the power of seeds to shape our lives.

    Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

    • 38 min
    How food on film is the secret ingredient to storytelling

    How food on film is the secret ingredient to storytelling

    Leyla Kazim meets Bend it like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha, OBE to hear how she uses food to bring her films to life and hears from Nathalie Morris of the British Film Institute about how breakfasts and arguments over butter tell the story in Phantom Thread.

    With all this food on screen, inevitably we’re left wanting to eat it. Leyla discovers the people painstakingly recreating recipes like writers Olivia Potts and Kate Young with their TV dinners and the YouTube phenomenon Binging with Babish, who gets millions of views for revealing how to make dishes from TV and film’s biggest hits - like the ram-don noodles from Oscar-winning film Parasite.

    Featuring clips from:

    Bend it Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra and Paul Mayeda Berges with production companies Kintop Pictures, Bend It Films, Roc Media, Road Movies, Filmproduktion

    What’s Cooking? Directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges for BeCause Entertainment Group

    Phantom Thread, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson for Production companies Annapurna Pictures, Ghoulardi Film Company and Perfect World Pictures.

    Binging with Babish: Ram-Don from Parasite – produced and presented by Andrew Rea

    YouTube channel Maangchi video ‘Jjapaguri with steak (aka "Ram-don" from the movie Parasite)’

    American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes, written by Alan Ball and produced by Jinks / Cohen Company

    Presenter: Leyla Kazim
    Producer: Tom Bonnett

    • 28 min
    Why Eat Wild Meat?

    Why Eat Wild Meat?

    Dan Saladino looks at the legal and illegal global trade in wild meat. After links have been made between the Covid-19 pandemic and wild animal populations, there have been calls for a complete ban on the hunting, trade and consumption of wild animals. As Dan explains, this would be a mistake and could even lead to greater risks to human health and livelihoods.

    Most food cultures still feature wild animals, from deer, rabbit and game birds in northern Europe, to cane rats, porcupine and antelope in Africa. Much of this is legal and sustainable, however, in an increasingly globalised world, a parallel and unsustainable illegal trade has been flourishing. Because of its illicit nature hard figures are hard to come by, but the illegal wild animal business is put at around $10bn a year; below the gun and drugs trade but on a par with international people trafficking.

    Current thinking is that the Covid-19 outbreak originated at a so called 'wet market' in Wuhan in China; the virus is believed to have spread from bats, through other wild or domesticated animals packed together in a market and then passed onto humans. Because of this scenario, there have been calls from health professionals and politicians for a complete ban on the wild meat trade.

    Everyone agrees that the wild animal markets need to be reformed and current bans on the illegal trade should be enforced. However as Dan hears from EJ Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity, University of Oxford, who has spent thirty years working on animal conservation, this blanket approach is far too simplistic and could create more harm than good.

    There are communities around the world still dependent on wild animals for their food security and economic well being. A blanket ban would do serious harm to many already vulnerable populations. Professor Milner-Gulland also explains that there is blurring between wild animals used as food and those used as medicine, which has created a complex supply chain that also blurs the legal status of these animals. What we also need to be focusing on, she argues, is the impact of our own industrial food system on biodiversity and future risks of pandemic.

    This is a point echoed by Professor Andrew Cunningham, an expert in animal diseases at ZSL. He also explains the long history of zoonotic diseases such as measles, small pox and mumps as they jumped from animals to humans, in some cases thousands of years ago, and then moved around the world as humans travelled and traded. The Chinese food expert Fuchsia Dunlop explains that although the wild meat trade is a big issues in China, live animals have been disappearing from markets in towns and cities in recent decades as the country modernises.

    To provide an insight into how important wild animals are to the identities and food security of some cultures Dan Saladino speaks with Alyssa Crittenden, based at the University of the Nevada, Las Vegas, an expert on one of the world's last remaining hunter gatherers, the Hadza. Nature, their environment, including wild animals and their meat, are essential to the survival of the Hadza in their remote part of Tanzania

    Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

    • 27 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
546 Ratings

546 Ratings

sigmund47 ,

Great when

Sheila Dillon is at the helm. Sadly Dan doesn’t cut it for me. No bite and rather bland. I do hope he’s not limbering up to take over.

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.

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