300 episodes

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

The Food Programme BBC Radio 4

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 211 Ratings

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

    Reformulation – a fix for the obesity crisis?

    Reformulation – a fix for the obesity crisis?

    In the UK poor diet is a worrying public health issue, and we rank one of the worst in Europe for levels of obesity, particularly among children. Reformulating the most unhealthy foods to reduce sugar, salt and fat is the food industry’s main strategy to turn things around, and this is echoed by the government. Reformulation has been going on for decades, and there has been some real progress recently, for example reducing sugar in soft drinks and some breakfast cereals. However, overall there is much work still to be done and government sugar reduction targets are way-off being met according to recent figures.

    The focus on reformulation has always been on reducing the level of ‘bad’ nutrients in food. Now the concept of ‘ultra-processed’ food is calling that strategy into question. It defines food on the level of processing rather than on nutrients – if a product includes ingredients you wouldn’t find in your kitchen and was made in a factory, then it’s probably ultra-processed. UPF food makes up half of the average diet in the UK, and there is growing evidence to show that it’s very likely driving the rise in diet-related diseases, and the global obesity epidemic.

    So when it comes to nutrients, what are the technical challenges for reformulating our food, and how far can this approach go in improving the quality of ultra-processed food? And if the problem really lies with processing rather than nutrients, do we need a different approach entirely?

    Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol.

    • 28 min
    Protein: power in powder?

    Protein: power in powder?

    Protein supplements have been around for a long time but recently it feels like they made the jump from a niche product for gym enthusiasts to something much more mainstream. We are seeing protein being added to all kinds of food products for example, from chocolate bars to cereal.

    Jaega Wise wants to find out more about these products. Do we need them? What are they made of? How much protein should we be eating?

    Jaega visits Balance festival in East London to observe how protein is taking over the wellness scene. She also talks to her partner Will who has been drinking protein shakes. She visits a factory where they make Form Protein – a more upmarket, vegan supplement.

    We hear from Professor Stuart Phillips on the effectiveness of protein supplements and Dietitian Dr Linia Patel on the Refence Nutrient Intake – the amount of protein we are recommended to have every day.

    Presenter: Jaega Wise
    Produced in Bristol by Natalie Donovan and Sam Grist

    • 28 min
    Sandor Katz: Fermentation Journeys

    Sandor Katz: Fermentation Journeys

    Dan Saladino talks with Sandor Katz about the diversity of fermentation around the world.

    Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

    • 27 min
    Michael Caines: A Life Through Food

    Michael Caines: A Life Through Food

    The award winning and inspirational chef tells his food story to Dan Saladino. One of his mentors, Raymond Blanc, explains why Michael is one of the best chefs of his generation.

    Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

    • 27 min
    Mindful Food and the Art of Attention

    Mindful Food and the Art of Attention

    In a world where our attention spans are getting shorter, where we are rewarded not for the attention we pay to others but the attention we receive – is it time we re-evaluated the value of attentive growing and farming, and mindful eating?

    Could paying attention, as cheesemonger and podcast host Sam Wilkin argues, be the secret to great food and drink production and relishing what we consume on a daily basis?

    Sam takes us to Westcombe Dairy, where he’s been following their transition to regenerative agriculture for the past year, as part of the Westcombe Project. We visit a pioneering island distillery in the Inner Hebrides, as well as growers and brewers at an inaugural organic food festival in the East Neuk of Fife.

    The common thread that binds them? The belief that a more attentive approach has the power to transform the food system and improve our lives in the process.

    Presented by Jaega Wise.
    Produced by Robbie Armstrong in Glasgow.

    • 28 min
    Bread: Why should we care more about it?

    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

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
211 Ratings

211 Ratings

yakgirl52 ,

Interesting and Enjoyable

Don't have to be British to enjoy this podcast! But where's Sheila Dillon lately? She's my favorite, and it feels like it's been ages since she's done one of these. Hope that's just a temporary thing......

😉💙🙃 ,

5 June 2022 Street food

Went grocery shopping 🛒 and thought, what’s the huge brouhaha about prices? Then I went to the feed store, and it hit me… We buy a lot of animal food to maintain our chickens, eggs, sheep, garden supplies. 🥰🙃 Grow your own, if you’re going to eat it. We need to incentivize our farmers. You know what your eating, growing, selling and it’s so much better both in taste and nutrition. Awards are great but they must be deserved and proven from farm to table… We must substance our global food supply. Cooks are good but farmers are essential! Where is your farmers award?

FacebookAppsAreLame ,

Diverse Subjects, Skip the Vocal Fry

Interesting variety of subjects. I enjoyed the topics on chefs, blue fin tuna. The interview questions are great open-ended ones. I had to skip some of the 2018 episodes because host, a British woman, tends to have this intolerable dragging vocal fry.

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