Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
Cookbooks of 2020
Whether it's a recipe book full of mouthwatering meals, a deep dive into the science of what we eat or a collection of must-try cocktails, books about food and drink have the power to educate, entertain and enthrall - all in the comfort of your own home.
And this year, that's been more important than ever!
The Food Programme's presenting team - Sheila Dillon, Dan Saladino, Leyla Kazim and Jaega Wise - gather for their annual book summit, sharing their favourite titles of 2020 and hopefully giving some festive gift inspiration along the way...
Plus tales from Iceland's 'Jolabokaflod' Christmas book tradition with Christopher Norris, this year's food and drink book sales chart with The Bookseller's Tom Tivnan, and a first book launch for former BBC Food and Farming Award winners, The Seafood Shack...
Produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol.
What’s the deal with "chlorinated chicken"?
What do we mean by chlorinated chicken? Why is it such a bad thing? What exactly are the UK standards that we’re so keen to promote and protect?
To what extent can shoppers afford to prioritise animal welfare over price? And will the government keep its pledge not to undercut our food producers?
Using “chlorinated chicken” as a starting point, Charlotte Smith considers the questions around a future trade deal with the US - and others - on the British food sector.
She speaks to Cath Elliston from the youth-led movement BiteBack about its ‘Save Our standards’ campaign – and asks US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue why we should import US poultry.
Charlotte discusses current UK poultry production standards and how we compare to other countries with Dr Siobhan Mullan from Bristol Veterinary School, and visits Gloucestershire farmer Charles Bourns, who sees a growing market for higher welfare chicken.
We also hear from the Centre for Retail Research’s Professor Joshua Bamfield on consumer purchasing trends, and get more detail on our trade deal options from Emily Lydgate, a senior lecturer in law at the University of Sussex and deputy director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
Presented by Charlotte Smith, produced by Lucy Taylor in Bristol.
Raymond Blanc: The Lost Orchard
Raymond Blanc has spent decades growing an orchard at Le Manoir. An orchard Raymond has planted with 2500 rare trees from in the hope of saving lost and endangered varieties. He explains to Dan Saladino why the orchard might end up being his greatest legacy, a story he has captured in his book, The Lost Orchard. He also selects five different apples that help tell his life story. Dr Joan Morgan, the world's leading pomologist, described as the 'Queen of Apples' helps to tell the stories of the varieties Raymond has chosen.
Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
University Challenge: How students and universities are managing meals during the pandemic
Universities have become big business in the UK in recent decades - educating around 2.3 million students, with an annual operating expenditure of over £37 billion at the last count.
But since the start of this academic year, we’ve heard massively mixed reports on how universities are coping; not least, with managing food provision.
In a term when COVID-19 has put new and unexpected pressures on existing frameworks the response from institutes has been hugely varied, from teams rising to the challenge and delivering innovative meal solutions, to “disgraceful profiteering". The situation's prompted student petitions, protests and even rent strikes.
So what has this unprecedented clash of virus, education and money taught us about the UK’s centres of learning – and what lessons have they learned, to help things run more smoothly next year?
Presented by Sheila Dillon. Produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Nadiya Hussain: A Life Through Food
It's been five years since Nadiya Hussain left the Great British Bake Off tent victorious, inspiring and instilling confidence in wannabe bakers across the UK. In that time, Nadiya has presented eight TV series and a one off documentary and written 11 books. No surprise then that as a child Nadiya was academic, loved exams and says that in everything she's done in her life since, she has always strived to be the best she can possible be.
Leyla Kazim sits down for a conversation with the baker from Luton who has become one of the UK's most beloved TV cooks to ask about her teenage years, her family life and the discrimination she's faced making her way in a majority white food industry. Along with her friend and fellow baker Tan France, she reflects on the significance of her winning the Great British Bake Off all those five years ago.
Presented by Leyla Kazim.
Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio in Bristol.
Eat Your Way to Power: Food and Politics on the Campaign Trail
Food can tell us a lot about our politicians, at least that seems to be what we think. We love to see them eat and we obsess about what goes in their mouths. It can be a high-wire act. Do it right to prove that you are just like your voters but do it wrong and you are a slob, a phoney or a weirdo.
In this week’s food programme Sheila Dillon investigates the power of public eating in political campaigning. We talk to Trump’s former communications Director Anthony 'The Mooch' Scaramucci about the president’s love of fast food and why he communicates so well through what he eats. Ed Miliband’s former advisor Ayesha Hazarika tells us why photos of him eating a bacon sandwich had measurable effect on the 2015 General Election. We also talk to James Beard winning photo journalist Gary He about his time with some of the Democratic Candidates taking photos of every single thing they ate.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced by Sam Grist for BBC Audio in Bristol