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The Food Chain

BBC World Service

260
Followers
706
Plays
The Food Chain

The Food Chain

BBC World Service

260
Followers
706
Plays
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About Us

The Food Chain examines the business, science and cultural significance of food, and what it takes to put food on your plate.

Latest Episodes

Coronavirus: Obesity's defining moment?

Emily Thomas asks whether the coronavirus pandemic will turn out to be the defining moment in the fight against obesity. Will we see governments take radical action, now that the pandemic has turned the spotlight on this growing global problem? And why hasn’t the pandemic made most of us eat more healthily? Even experts have been surprised by just how strong an impact obesity has been found to have on the risks of coronavirus. We hear from Professor Barry Popkin, of the University of North Carolina, who led a major study into the relationship between the two. He tells us he’s worried that food companies are using the pandemic to push ultra processed food on low-income populations. Professor Corinna Hawkes, of City, University of London, explains how obesity policy became personal in the UK after Boris Johnson caught the virus. And Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, Policy Lead for the European Association for the Study of Obesity, tells us how her own experience of living with obesity has ...

27 min2 d ago
Comments
Coronavirus: Obesity's defining moment?

The preppers and the pandemic

Preppers have been preparing for a global emergency like coronavirus for years, stocking up supplies just in case society was ever brought to a standstill. So when our food systems began to buckle under the pressure of the pandemic, were they sitting pretty, and has this much ridiculed community now been vindicated? Emily Thomas revisits some preppers she first met three years ago to see how they’ve been coping since the crisis hit. Pete Stanford tells her he didn’t need to join the supermarket scramble for food in the first weeks of lockdown, but the crisis has made him rethink the way he preps and how much he’s willing to share. Lincoln Miles tells us he’s had a flood of new customers to his prepping shop, but that even he wasn’t prepared for the spike in demand. And we speak to a prepping newcomer, New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles, who’s gone from ridiculing this community to believing that being prepared is the socially responsible thing to do. (Picture: A man with a backpack and axe in the forest. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

27 min1 w ago
Comments
The preppers and the pandemic

The fertiliser that blew up Beirut

Following the Beirut explosion, we’re exploring the chemical that caused the blast - ammonium nitrate. It’s something many of us will have come across before, it’s in some of our antibiotics and used to feed yeast but it’s most commonly sold as a fertiliser. Graihagh Jackson examines how this substance has changed the world - feeding millions on the one hand, and fuelling warfare, pollution and biodiversity loss on the other. If you would like to get in touch, please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk (Picture: Ammonium nitrate on petri dish. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

29 min2 w ago
Comments
The fertiliser that blew up Beirut

Margarita Forés: My life in five dishes

She was born into one of the most prominent and wealthy families in the Philippines, but life has not been easy for Margarita Forés. She was forced to flee her country during President Ferdinand Marcos’ military dictatorship, she battled bulimia as a young woman and has overcome cancer twice. She tells Graihagh Jackson how cooking has helped her cope with some of her toughest challenges, offered a way to win her family’s approval, and helped her prove to herself that she could make it on her own. Now an award-winning chef and owner of Cibo, a successful chain of restaurants in her home country, she made her mark by blending Filipino ingredients with Italian cooking techniques, after falling in love with the country whilst at a cookery school there. And she has set her sights on pushing for Filipino food to be internationally recognised, whilst championing local farmers and their ingredients. (Photo: Margarita Forés. Credit: Margarita Forés/BBC)

30 min3 w ago
Comments
Margarita Forés: My life in five dishes

Sean Sherman: My life in five dishes

After decades of racism, persecution and forced assimilation, Native Americans had lost many of their traditional foods and recipes. Award-winning chef Sean Sherman has made it his life’s mission to bring them back from the brink of extinction. He tells Graihagh Jackson about a “feral” childhood spent on a vast reservation in South Dakota, USA, and how his impoverished community was forced to rely on highly processed, government-supplied commodity foods, which he says have had serious and long-term health implications for his people. A successful but highly stressful career running restaurant kitchens pushed him to the point of burnout – he explains how a recuperation mission to Mexico led to an epiphany about his own food heritage and a meticulous effort to revive it and rid it of colonial influences. He’s since written an award-winning cookbook, set up a non-profit to educate others about North America’s native cuisines, plans to open a restaurant next year, and tells us he ...

32 minAUG 27
Comments
Sean Sherman: My life in five dishes

Food media's moment of reckoning?

When a misguided halloween costume resurfaced on social media in June - no one could have predicted the events that ensued. It ignited a twitter storm about racism in food writing and led ultimately to the resignation of two food editors at major US publications. Graihagh Jackson hears from the whistleblower at the centre of the controversy and from critics of mainstream food media, who say myopic, white-washed and problematic representations of food are all-too-common. We hear from people trying to change the status quo and ask if this is the moment of reckoning the industry needs. If you would like to get in touch please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk (Picture: Letters on a chopping board. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

28 minAUG 20
Comments
Food media's moment of reckoning?

Meatpacking's coronavirus problem

Meatpacking plants around the world are quickly becoming hotspots for Coronavirus outbreaks. In many rural parts of the United States, meat processing factories have now become the main source of Covid-19 infections. But why are other food factories not experiencing the same problem? And why is the US so adversely affected? Tamasin Ford takes a look at the unique conditions at meat processing factories that enable the virus to thrive and how the outbreaks have revealed some of the gruelling working conditions facing many workers around the world. In Denmark, Europe’s largest pig processor, we explore whether artificial intelligence and the use of robots could help prevent future outbreaks, or whether it’s simply about providing better working conditions for people working in the factories. If you'd like to get in touch with the team, please email thefoochain@bbc.co.uk. (Picture: A man cuts meat for sausage. Credit: Lev Fedoseyev/TASS via Getty Images/BBC)

27 minAUG 13
Comments
Meatpacking's coronavirus problem

Single parents: Cooking solo

Money, time, and healthy choices can make mealtimes a challenge for many parents, but how do things change when sole responsibility falls on one adult's shoulders? In some parts of the world single parent families are now more common than ever before, but how does being a single parent influence your relationship with food, and also your child's? Tamasin Ford speaks to three lone-parents about their experiences: Salma Abdo, from Madrid, explains why mealtimes with her young son were the loneliest part of her day; Billy McGranaghan, founder of London charity Dads House, says he regularly had to skip meals so his child could eat; and Neferteri Plessy, who runs Single Mums Planet, in Santa Monica, California, talks about how food decisions can be tricky to negotiate with your ex. But all three describe how, despite the challenges, food can help create unique bonds in a single parent home through cooking and eating together. Producer: Simon Tulett Studio Manager: Hal Haines (Picture: Neferteri Plessy, Salma Abdo, and Billy McGranaghan. Credit: BBC)

27 minAUG 6
Comments
Single parents: Cooking solo

Dominique Crenn: My life in five dishes

Abandoned by her biological mother at six months old, a victim of sexual harassment and discrimination in the kitchen, and a recent breast cancer survivor – Dominique Crenn has faced her fair share of battles. The award-winning chef, author and campaigner – not to mention the first woman in the US to win three Michelin stars – tells Graihagh Jackson how sheer determination and a desire to make a difference have taken her to the top. She discusses the five key dishes that have shaped her life, from enjoying fresh oysters in a fish market with her father at 4am, to tomatoes – the ingredient that showed her the power of food and the importance of where it comes from. Dominique tells of her struggles in a male-dominated restaurant world, the heartache of her father’s death, and how she’s facing up to her latest challenge – Covid-19. Plus, she explains her recent decision to scrap land-based meat from all of her restaurants, and why cancer has prompted her to seek out her birth mother. Producer: Simon Tulett Studio manager: Annie Gardiner (Picture: Dominique Crenn. Credit: Jordan Wise/BBC)

31 minJUL 30
Comments
Dominique Crenn: My life in five dishes

Does comfort food really comfort us?

It’s something many of us intuitively believe - certain foods have the power to make us feel better. But what’s the science behind this, why do we crave certain dishes, and do they provide solace for everyone? Graihagh Jackson explores what’s really happening when we turn to food for a pick-me-up: psychologist Shira Gabriel explains these foods’ links to memory and social connection; and psychiatrist Lukas Van Oudenhove reveals why so many comfort foods are high in fat or carbohydrates, and how this could be problematic in the long run. But comfort foods aren’t always comforting - we find out why an unhappy childhood can mean they provide little or no solace. And the concept is far from universal - food writer Jenny Linford says in some food cultures the idea is irrelevant. Plus, of all the millions of dishes out there, why do some rise to comfort food status? Food writer Kay Plunkett-Hogge explains why rice is the ultimate comfort food for many Thais. Producer: Simon Tulett St...

32 minJUL 23
Comments
Does comfort food really comfort us?

Latest Episodes

Coronavirus: Obesity's defining moment?

Emily Thomas asks whether the coronavirus pandemic will turn out to be the defining moment in the fight against obesity. Will we see governments take radical action, now that the pandemic has turned the spotlight on this growing global problem? And why hasn’t the pandemic made most of us eat more healthily? Even experts have been surprised by just how strong an impact obesity has been found to have on the risks of coronavirus. We hear from Professor Barry Popkin, of the University of North Carolina, who led a major study into the relationship between the two. He tells us he’s worried that food companies are using the pandemic to push ultra processed food on low-income populations. Professor Corinna Hawkes, of City, University of London, explains how obesity policy became personal in the UK after Boris Johnson caught the virus. And Jacqueline Bowman-Busato, Policy Lead for the European Association for the Study of Obesity, tells us how her own experience of living with obesity has ...

27 min2 d ago
Comments
Coronavirus: Obesity's defining moment?

The preppers and the pandemic

Preppers have been preparing for a global emergency like coronavirus for years, stocking up supplies just in case society was ever brought to a standstill. So when our food systems began to buckle under the pressure of the pandemic, were they sitting pretty, and has this much ridiculed community now been vindicated? Emily Thomas revisits some preppers she first met three years ago to see how they’ve been coping since the crisis hit. Pete Stanford tells her he didn’t need to join the supermarket scramble for food in the first weeks of lockdown, but the crisis has made him rethink the way he preps and how much he’s willing to share. Lincoln Miles tells us he’s had a flood of new customers to his prepping shop, but that even he wasn’t prepared for the spike in demand. And we speak to a prepping newcomer, New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles, who’s gone from ridiculing this community to believing that being prepared is the socially responsible thing to do. (Picture: A man with a backpack and axe in the forest. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

27 min1 w ago
Comments
The preppers and the pandemic

The fertiliser that blew up Beirut

Following the Beirut explosion, we’re exploring the chemical that caused the blast - ammonium nitrate. It’s something many of us will have come across before, it’s in some of our antibiotics and used to feed yeast but it’s most commonly sold as a fertiliser. Graihagh Jackson examines how this substance has changed the world - feeding millions on the one hand, and fuelling warfare, pollution and biodiversity loss on the other. If you would like to get in touch, please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk (Picture: Ammonium nitrate on petri dish. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

29 min2 w ago
Comments
The fertiliser that blew up Beirut

Margarita Forés: My life in five dishes

She was born into one of the most prominent and wealthy families in the Philippines, but life has not been easy for Margarita Forés. She was forced to flee her country during President Ferdinand Marcos’ military dictatorship, she battled bulimia as a young woman and has overcome cancer twice. She tells Graihagh Jackson how cooking has helped her cope with some of her toughest challenges, offered a way to win her family’s approval, and helped her prove to herself that she could make it on her own. Now an award-winning chef and owner of Cibo, a successful chain of restaurants in her home country, she made her mark by blending Filipino ingredients with Italian cooking techniques, after falling in love with the country whilst at a cookery school there. And she has set her sights on pushing for Filipino food to be internationally recognised, whilst championing local farmers and their ingredients. (Photo: Margarita Forés. Credit: Margarita Forés/BBC)

30 min3 w ago
Comments
Margarita Forés: My life in five dishes

Sean Sherman: My life in five dishes

After decades of racism, persecution and forced assimilation, Native Americans had lost many of their traditional foods and recipes. Award-winning chef Sean Sherman has made it his life’s mission to bring them back from the brink of extinction. He tells Graihagh Jackson about a “feral” childhood spent on a vast reservation in South Dakota, USA, and how his impoverished community was forced to rely on highly processed, government-supplied commodity foods, which he says have had serious and long-term health implications for his people. A successful but highly stressful career running restaurant kitchens pushed him to the point of burnout – he explains how a recuperation mission to Mexico led to an epiphany about his own food heritage and a meticulous effort to revive it and rid it of colonial influences. He’s since written an award-winning cookbook, set up a non-profit to educate others about North America’s native cuisines, plans to open a restaurant next year, and tells us he ...

32 minAUG 27
Comments
Sean Sherman: My life in five dishes

Food media's moment of reckoning?

When a misguided halloween costume resurfaced on social media in June - no one could have predicted the events that ensued. It ignited a twitter storm about racism in food writing and led ultimately to the resignation of two food editors at major US publications. Graihagh Jackson hears from the whistleblower at the centre of the controversy and from critics of mainstream food media, who say myopic, white-washed and problematic representations of food are all-too-common. We hear from people trying to change the status quo and ask if this is the moment of reckoning the industry needs. If you would like to get in touch please email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk (Picture: Letters on a chopping board. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

28 minAUG 20
Comments
Food media's moment of reckoning?

Meatpacking's coronavirus problem

Meatpacking plants around the world are quickly becoming hotspots for Coronavirus outbreaks. In many rural parts of the United States, meat processing factories have now become the main source of Covid-19 infections. But why are other food factories not experiencing the same problem? And why is the US so adversely affected? Tamasin Ford takes a look at the unique conditions at meat processing factories that enable the virus to thrive and how the outbreaks have revealed some of the gruelling working conditions facing many workers around the world. In Denmark, Europe’s largest pig processor, we explore whether artificial intelligence and the use of robots could help prevent future outbreaks, or whether it’s simply about providing better working conditions for people working in the factories. If you'd like to get in touch with the team, please email thefoochain@bbc.co.uk. (Picture: A man cuts meat for sausage. Credit: Lev Fedoseyev/TASS via Getty Images/BBC)

27 minAUG 13
Comments
Meatpacking's coronavirus problem

Single parents: Cooking solo

Money, time, and healthy choices can make mealtimes a challenge for many parents, but how do things change when sole responsibility falls on one adult's shoulders? In some parts of the world single parent families are now more common than ever before, but how does being a single parent influence your relationship with food, and also your child's? Tamasin Ford speaks to three lone-parents about their experiences: Salma Abdo, from Madrid, explains why mealtimes with her young son were the loneliest part of her day; Billy McGranaghan, founder of London charity Dads House, says he regularly had to skip meals so his child could eat; and Neferteri Plessy, who runs Single Mums Planet, in Santa Monica, California, talks about how food decisions can be tricky to negotiate with your ex. But all three describe how, despite the challenges, food can help create unique bonds in a single parent home through cooking and eating together. Producer: Simon Tulett Studio Manager: Hal Haines (Picture: Neferteri Plessy, Salma Abdo, and Billy McGranaghan. Credit: BBC)

27 minAUG 6
Comments
Single parents: Cooking solo

Dominique Crenn: My life in five dishes

Abandoned by her biological mother at six months old, a victim of sexual harassment and discrimination in the kitchen, and a recent breast cancer survivor – Dominique Crenn has faced her fair share of battles. The award-winning chef, author and campaigner – not to mention the first woman in the US to win three Michelin stars – tells Graihagh Jackson how sheer determination and a desire to make a difference have taken her to the top. She discusses the five key dishes that have shaped her life, from enjoying fresh oysters in a fish market with her father at 4am, to tomatoes – the ingredient that showed her the power of food and the importance of where it comes from. Dominique tells of her struggles in a male-dominated restaurant world, the heartache of her father’s death, and how she’s facing up to her latest challenge – Covid-19. Plus, she explains her recent decision to scrap land-based meat from all of her restaurants, and why cancer has prompted her to seek out her birth mother. Producer: Simon Tulett Studio manager: Annie Gardiner (Picture: Dominique Crenn. Credit: Jordan Wise/BBC)

31 minJUL 30
Comments
Dominique Crenn: My life in five dishes

Does comfort food really comfort us?

It’s something many of us intuitively believe - certain foods have the power to make us feel better. But what’s the science behind this, why do we crave certain dishes, and do they provide solace for everyone? Graihagh Jackson explores what’s really happening when we turn to food for a pick-me-up: psychologist Shira Gabriel explains these foods’ links to memory and social connection; and psychiatrist Lukas Van Oudenhove reveals why so many comfort foods are high in fat or carbohydrates, and how this could be problematic in the long run. But comfort foods aren’t always comforting - we find out why an unhappy childhood can mean they provide little or no solace. And the concept is far from universal - food writer Jenny Linford says in some food cultures the idea is irrelevant. Plus, of all the millions of dishes out there, why do some rise to comfort food status? Food writer Kay Plunkett-Hogge explains why rice is the ultimate comfort food for many Thais. Producer: Simon Tulett St...

32 minJUL 23
Comments
Does comfort food really comfort us?

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