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The Food Chain

The Food Chain

A farmer's nightmare

Wed, 20 Oct 2021
The UK food industry relies on foreign workers, but what happens when they stop coming?
A combination of COVID-19 and Brexit has led to fewer workers available to pick, process and transport food. For some farmers it has led to heartbreaking dilemmas. Tamasin Ford speaks to two pig farmers who face having to kill thousands of healthy pigs, and a salad farmer who has seen millions of lettuce heads rot in his fields.

(Picture: farmer in field, Credit: Getty/BBC)

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Vicky Morgan, pig farmer, Pockthorpe Hall Farm, East Yorkshire, UK
Kate Morgan, pig farmer, Pockthorpe Hall Farm, East Yorkshire, UK
Nick Ottewell, Farming and Commercial Director at LJ Betts Ltd, Kent, England

Last orders: Why I quit hospitality

Thu, 14 Oct 2021
The hospitality industry is facing a staffing crisis, but why have thousands of chefs and waiters quit, and why now?

Tamasin Ford speaks to three former restaurant and bar workers to find out why the coronavirus pandemic prompted them to leave, and what they're doing instead.

We find out what, if anything, might tempt them back - higher pay, more sociable hours, or better work culture, maybe kinder customers? And we ask whether Covid-19 might really be the moment for industry reform.

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Producer: Simon Tulett

Adam Reiner, New York;
Melissa Sosa, Miami;
Renée Harper, Phoenix.

(Picture: Upset waitress leaning on a bar. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

The drinking experiment

Thu, 07 Oct 2021
Alcohol is part of the fabric of life in many cultures. It’s associated with socialising, dating, networking, even commiserating . But what happens if you take it away? Tamasin Ford brings together three people who decided to give up alcohol in a drinking culture. We ask them why and how they did it. What effect did it have on their lives professionally, socially, physically and emotionally? And would they ever want to drink again?

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If you have found any of the issues raised in this programme upsetting and are looking for further information or support - please visit
BBC Action Line by clicking on the link below.

Annie Grace - Author and founder This Naked Mind Colorado, USA
Andy Ramage - Performance coach, Essex, UK
Kate Gunn - Author 'The Accidental Soberista' Whitlow, Ireland

(Picture: Hand on empty bottle. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)

The bug business

Thu, 30 Sep 2021
Insects are cheap, packed full of nutrients, and farming them for food could help save the planet. Convincing more people to eat them, though, remains a big challenge.

Tamasin Ford speaks to three insect entrepreneurs trying to persuade the squeamish, especially in Europe and North America, to overcome their fears of crickets, worms, and spiders, and instead see them as a tasty, sustainable, alternative source of protein.

We also hear that it’s not just the ‘yuck factor’ holding this fledgling industry back - should governments, chefs, and climate campaigners be doing more to support it?

If you would like to get in touch with the show, please email

Producer: Simon Tulett


Joseph Yoon, chef and executive director of Brooklyn Bugs;
Marjolaine Blouzard, former co-owner of Bugs Cafe;
Andy Holcroft, founding director of Grub Kitchen and Bug Farm Foods.

(Picture: A dish of peas, carrots and worms prepared by chef David Faure. Credit: Didier Baverel/Getty Images/BBC)

Cooking by computer

Thu, 23 Sep 2021
From bread making to Thai cuisine, cookery classes have become a popular way for people to learn new culinary skills and meet people. But coronavirus lockdowns suddenly brought these businesses to a standstill. Rory Cellan-Jones hears from three cooks, who quickly pivoted to virtual cooking classes to survive. Could they get over the technical challenges, and can you really teach someone to cook through a computer?

(Picture: mother and child on a virtual cooking course. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)


Fayruza Abrahams, Taste Malay
Rawan Al Waada, Rebels in the Kitchen
Sue Hudson, Bread Workshops

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