Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
Investigating every aspect of the food we eat
Return of the Restaurant?
Slowly but surely, restaurants are emerging from the coronavirus lockdown, introducing us to a new world of dining out, with added hygiene and distancing measures.
But some outlets aren’t able to open safely yet - some may never open again. And although small, independent outlets might seem like the most obvious victims of this crisis, no business is immune to the effects of Covid-19; as we've seen from the slew of recent closures announced by established high-street brands.
There has been government support for hospitality businesses in the shape of grants, for those who can access them; the staff furlough scheme; the dine-in VAT cut; and the new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ meal discount scheme that launches this month. But with the situation still precarious, will it be enough?
Today, Sheila Dillon finds out how Britain’s £130-billion hospitality industry is managing its post-lockdown come-back.
We hear from Tanya Gold, food critic for The Spectator Magazine, on the reality of distanced dining; Mark Lewis from the benevolent charity Hospitality Action discusses the influx of requests for support they've seen in recent months; and Vernon Mascarenhas from fruit and veg supplier Nature's Choice talks about how the pandemic has permanently changed the supply sector.
We also follow the fortunes of the north London Nigerian tapas restaurant Chuku’s, as sibling founders Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick gear up to the big reopening.
A BBC Audio production presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Lucy Taylor.
Julian Metcalfe: A Life Through Food
Slowly, the hospitality industry is easing itself out of lockdown: but the sector has been hard hit - particularly those high-street outlets seen in towns and cities across the country, offering quick lunch options for a legion of office workers who are no longer around...
In a sector that was already struggling, with slow business hitting chains such as Jamie's Italian and burger brand Byron, what will it take for these brands to not only survive coronavirus, but thrive long term?
Who better to ask than a man who's been instrumental in shaping the nation's high-street fast food offerings: Julian Metcalfe.
Sheila Dillon speaks to the co-founder of international food retailer Pret A Manger about entrepreneurship, his on Asian-inspired brand itsu, staying creative during lockdown - and what he sees as his mission to offer healthy, affordable fast food on the high street.
Presented by Sheila Dillon, produced by Lucy Taylor.
Food and Mood: how eating affects your mental health
One silver lining of lockdown is that it has brought talk of mental health, particularly depression, into the general conversation. And what is becoming increasingly evident is the role that food has in warding off depression and anxiety.
Professor Felice Jacka is the leading expert in the link between mental health and nutrition and is the president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. She discusses the wealth of research which demonstrates the link between diet and the growth of the hippocampus.
Many people found that cooking helped boost their mood in lockdown - evident from the shortages of baking ingredients on our shelves. Writer and comedian Katy Brand tells Sheila that she finds cooking gives her a sense of control and helps alleviate stress.
Kimberley Wilson is unusual among chartered psychologists because she also holds a masters degree in nutrition. When her clients come to her with depression and anxiety one of the first things she does is talk to them about what they eat. She thinks that although we have readily accepted the idea that we need to eat good food to look after other organs in our body, we are reluctant to see the connection to our brain’s health.
So if food is proved to be central to improving our mental health, how come GPs are unlikely to talk to you about it? Sheila talks to Dr Rupy Aujla, from the Doctor’s Kitchen, about why good nutrition is too often overlooked in the medical profession.
And Romy Gill discusses mental health struggles with fellow chefs Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh. Chefs spend all day cooking for other people but all too often fail to feed themselves good food. In lockdown chefs have had a moment to reflect on the pressure of a professional kitchen and the impact this has on their mental health.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced by Emma Weatherill
Child Food Poverty: What next after the Government's U-turn on Free School Meals?
Last month, footballer Marcus Rashford wrote an open letter to MPs calling for them to continue funding free schools meals during the summer holidays. He called for support to a petition started by teenage campaigner Christina Adane, and within hours, the Government responded. All children eligible for free school meals in term time in England would benefit from the ‘Covid summer food fund’. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would also continue with voucher programmes. But funding would stop, Boris Johnson confirmed, after the summer.
So what then?
In this programme, Sheila Dillon is joined by two young campaigners on child food poverty Jani Clarke and Shane Robinson who've been hearing from young people across the UK with first-hand experiences of food poverty in their communities. They explain how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected home life and access to nutritious food. And why they are working with food campaigning charity The Food Foundation to demand more action from the UK government in their updated Right2Food charter. Sheila also asks actor and campaigner Dame Emma Thompson on why she's calling for the Government to listen to these young people.
Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement Debbie Weekes-Bernard explains how the pandemic has affected opportunities for families living in food poverty, and journalist Louise Tickle describes the potential long term impact on children’s' access to education and opportunities should food poverty figures rise in the UK.
Presented by Sheila Dillon
Produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury
Is it harder to make it in the food industry if you’re black?
The Black Farmer thinks we’re at another #MeToo moment in world history following the death of George Floyd and the protests and discussions about racism it has sparked. For presenter Jaega Wise, it’s the first time in her life she has experienced race being talked about so frankly across society. She talks to three people who have been at the forefront of the conversation: Melissa Thompson who runs the food and recipe project Foulmouths, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones who runs the brand The Black Farmer, and Riaz Phillips - author of Belly Full, a book about Britain’s Caribbean food. All three have spoken out about diversity in the food media, hospitality and the supply chain in the last few weeks and Jaega hears their experiences and opinions on being black in Britain’s food industry.
Presenter: Jaega Wise
Producer: Tom Bonnett
Picture courtesy of Samer Moukarzel
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.
listen again and again!
Absolutely amazing content! ⚡️⚡️