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The Food Programme


Investigating every aspect of the food we eat


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Investigating every aspect of the food we eat




Brexit and Food: How is it working out?

Three years after the UK left the EU, and two years after the end of the transition period, Jaega Wise speaks to some UK food producers about if and how Brexit is still affecting their businesses. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed with the EU allows UK businesses tariff-free trade with the EU, but as some quickly discovered at the end of January 2021, "third country" trading rules must be followed. For most in the food sector that has meant more paperwork, having food checked by...


The Wild West of Whisky: From Cask Investments to Dram Scams

Whisky has long been associated with money and wealth, but in recent years prices of rare casks and limited bottlings have soared. A cask of Islay whisky sold for a record-breaking £16 million last year, and the number of cask investment companies is growing, with many of them promising investors big profits and the chance to own their very own cask of Scotch whisky. Behind the headlines and dollar signs, some industry experts are concerned at the practices of certain companies, worried that...


Fixing Dan

Like so many of us, Dan Saladino knows he needs to be in better shape, but why do his attempts to make a change keep failing? There's one important question he needs to resolve, when it comes to diet, are his family helping or hindering his eating habits? In his search for better health in 2023, Dan is joined by Dr Michael Mosley, inventor of the 5:2 diet, keto coach Panagiotis Kottas and the Whitingtons, the family behind the television documentary "Fixing Dad" in which two sons stepped in...


Shellfish: A Very British Image Crisis

When was the last time you tucked into cockle pie? Or stirred clams into a sumptuous pasta or stew? These bivalves are plentiful all around the UK coastline, tied up with the diets and fortunes of coastal communities for millennia. Many species can be efficiently farmed at minimal cost to the environment. Their nutritional value stacks up against mussels and oysters. And yet our desire for these 'uglier' shellfish is at risk of disappearing. In this programme we meet chefs, fishermen and...


Hangovers: a guide to the morning after

For many, drinking is part of our national identity but the immediate after effects of alcohol, it turns out, are an under investigated part of the experience. This week Jaega Wise looks hangovers from all angles. from science, history and culture. She talks to Dr Sally Adams Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Birmingham about what a hangover does to our bodies and minds. Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall is a writer who for his book Hungover: A History of the Morning After and...


Food, Philosophy & Football: Christmas with Delia Smith

In food, there are household names. And then, there is Delia Smith. So synonymous is she with cooking that her first name was included in the Collins English Dictionary in 2001. For four decades, her TV cookery programmes were primetime viewing, and when they ceased in 2013, she moved her cooking lessons online. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her recipe books. Her seasonal recipes were so popular that supermarkets would run out of ingredients when she cooked with them. - Notably...


The Forgotten Foods of Christmas

Dan Saladino and food historian Ivan Day rediscover lost flavours from Christmas past with a feast that features chestnuts from an Italian forest, a cheese from the Yorkshire Dales and a once revered meat sourced from the Cumbrian fells. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.


The Food Books of 2022

Sheila Dillon and guests come together at Cherry Tree Library in Blackburn to discuss this year's best food books. From recipes and biographies, to food history and policy - there are choices for everyone to put on their Christmas lists, or.. check out from the library! Cherry Tree in Blackburn like most libraries has a wealth of food books to delve into, but unlike most libraries it also has its own honey producing beehives. Local comedian and author Tez Ilyas pops in to see what books he...


Nutrition's Dark Matter: The New Science of Eating

This year's winner of the Derek Cooper Lifetime Achievement award, scientist Professor Tim Spector explains the latest research into what, how and when we should be eating, from the power of polyphenols to the mysteries of our gut microbiomes. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.


Fred Sirieix: A Life Through Food

Fred Sirieix, the French maître d’ joins Jaega Wise to share his ‘Life Through Food’ and passion for hospitality. It’s been a decade since Fred started to appear on television, and he’s best known for being the Front of House on the long-running Channel 4 series First Dates. But before that, Fred had reached the top of his profession working in some of London’s most prestigious restaurants, and has been flying the flag for Front of House roles since he left catering college. Fred has...


BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022: Second Course

The winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022 are announced at a ceremony at the National Museum Cardiff. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio in Bristol.


BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022: First Course

The winners of the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2022 are announced at a ceremony at the National Museum Cardiff. Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced by Sophie Anton for BBC Audio in Bristol


Avoiding the Avocado?

There's a growing anxiety around avocados. With more awareness of their impact on the countries where they are grown, some chefs have been reducing their presence on menus. Are worries about their sustainability well-founded? Why do we focus so much on avocados and could we replace this contentious fruit with something else? Leyla Kazim meets chef Adriana Cavita at her new Mexican restaurant to talk about growing up with Avocados and how she has tackled the issue of their sustainability....


Best Food Producer: Meet the Finalists of 2022

Sheila Dillon and chef Michael Caines meet the three Best Food Producer finalists of 2022, a community farm in Sussex, a business making cultured butter, and processor of wild Scottish venison. Ardgay Game is a family run business which sources the highest quality wild venison from the Highland estates of Scotland. Their team of expert butchers turn this source of sustainable wild meat into a premium product which is exported all over the world. The Edinburgh Butter Co produce cultured...


Wine in a Changing Climate

As rising temperatures supercharge the UK wine industry, Jaega Wise finds out what this means for winegrowing at home and abroad, and the mixed blessing climate change presents. She finds out how winegrowers, viticultural scientists and wine trade experts feel about the double-edged sword of climate change, and what the future might look like for the industry both in the UK and further afield. In Sussex, we hear from winemaking duo Dermot Sugrue and Ana Dogic about their estate Sugrue South...


The Food Innovators

Dan Saladino explore three big ideas that are set to influence the future of food and farming: the reinvention of wheat, supplies of wild meat into hospital kitchens and 'taste education' for children. Each one is a contender in this year's BBC Food and Farming Awards, in the innovation category. Dan heads into a forest to see how the cull of a growing deer population is resulting in better hospital food. He visits a team of crop scientists who are taking wheat back in time and through its...


So You Want to Be a Bartender?

Welcome to the world of cocktails and the people who make them. As Jaega Wise discovers in this programme, it's a world of extremes. On one hand, in the past decade, bartending has become a respectable, profitable career for some. International awards and competitions have thrust people like Monica Berg of London bar Tayēr + Elementary, and Max Hayward of Cardiff's Lab 22 into the media spotlight. But the other side is darker. Zero hours contracts, long hours, bullying and harassment. And a...


Cost of Living Crisis: Food Donations

As energy bills rise to their new capped level at the start of October, Leyla Kazim shares some inspiring stories of giving that she has heard while on the road with the BBC Food and Farming Awards. Judging is currently underway for the Awards, which will be held for the first time this year in Wales. Given the financial situation the UK is in, with food inflation at its highest rate since 2008, perhaps it's no surprise that many of this years finalists are involved with getting food to...


Hospital food - a turning point?

The quality of hospital food around the country remains a very mixed picture, despite various initiatives over the last decades. But now there is real optimism around a major Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food in England, published in 2020. Sheila Dillon looks at the barriers that have been holding back progress, and talks to Prue Leith, an Independent Advisor for the review, about the latest on progress with carrying through its recommendations. Sheila meets catering teams at the...


Cooperation: the solution to a food crisis?

The co-op that's saving land, a food culture and villages at risk of being abandoned. In Benevento, Italy, Lentamente is also giving former convicts a future through farms and food. Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.