What we eat is so important. For our health, our politics & economics, for nature, for culture, for our future. And the more we know about where it comes from, how it’s made, who it benefits or harms, what it’s made of and what we make of it, and why we eat this (not that)… the more we can make educated decisions and act in a way that can help shape better futures for all.
things to listen to
It’s hard read a book or watch a show while cooking, but one can most definitely listen to music or radio without much difficulty — for me, a podcast is even better. Here are some that I like about eating and food.
↠ A Thorough Examination, by BBC Radio 4
Is learning more about ultra-processed foods the best way to find them less attractive?
↠ The Food Programme, BBC Radio 4
This is one of those podcasts that I will clear my listening queue for if a new episode has just been released. As host Sheila Dillon reminds listeners regularly, the show explores all things food — “from culture to cooking, from politics to pleasure”.
↠ The Chefs’ Manifesto Podcast, by the SD2 Advocacy Hub
This podcast brings the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to life by inviting chefs and relevant experts to have conversations about SDG2: ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
↠ The Food Chain, by the BBC World Service
Reminiscent of the Food Programme in some ways, the Food Chain’s focus lies more on the business side and the science side of food, as well as its cultural significance.
a selection of episodes
(in English, French, or Norwegian)
last updated November 2023
EN What are Ultra-Processed Foods, and Are They Bad for You?, Scientific American
EN Removing unhealthy messaging in children’s advertising, The Current
FR Anthony Fardet: les règles d’or pour manger vrai dans un monde d’ultra-transformation, Sport et nutrition naturelle — Bien manger pour mieux Bouger
NO Ultraprosessert mat, fordøyelse og helse. Med ernæringsbiolog Marit Kolby, Leger om livet
EN Gyorgy Scrinis, PhD — Ultraprocessed foods, Nutritionism and Current Food Systems, Sigma Nutrition Radio
NO Delås Gård: Dyrk mat, ikke plen! Ren Mat
FR Qui a peur des aliments ultra-transformés?, Révolutions alimentaires !
EN How The Food Industry Created Today’s Obesity Crisis, With Marion Nestle, Big Brains
EN How did ultra-processed foods take over, and what are they doing to us?, The Guardian Science Weekly
EN Prescribing Fruit and Veg — A New Model for the NHS?, The Food Programme
EN How ultra-processed foods wreak havoc on your body, ZOE Science & Nutrition
EN What do we really know about the health risks of eating processed food? ABC Radio Melbourne
EN Feeding Your Brain: A User’s Guide, The Food Programme
EN Beyond Calories; How the Food Matrix Influences Weigh Gain and Shapes Your Health and Wellbeing | Sarah Berry, PhD, The Genius Life
EN Food for Thought: How Nutrition Affects Our Minds, Intelligence Squared
EN The Global Food System: Too Big to Fix?, The Food Programme
things to read
I think it is wise to be well-informed on matters that, well, matter. I also think it is sensible to seek out information from many different people, whom each have a lot of experience or done a lot of research on the matter you seek to know more about. Hopefully the reading materials listed below meet that standard.
↠ The Way We Eat Now, by Bee Wilson
If you are interested in food beyond eating it, you should get acquainted with Bee Wilson’s work.
↠ In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
Even if you haven’t read this time-honoured classic, you may well be familiar with its fundamental premise: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
↠ Sustainable Diets, by Pamela Mason and Tim Lang
This is one that I look forward to reading soon. Professor Tim Lang is most definitely acquainted with the subject of food (at least, at an academic level).
↠ Let’s Ask Marion, by Marion Nestle
If anyone can explain what food has to do with politics, it is Marion Nestle.
↠ How to Eat, by David L. Katz & Mark Bittman
With so many food- & health-related headlines popping up on our screens every day, one can easily get confused. A doctor and a food writer get together and clear things up.
some articles and other books
(in English, French, or Norwegian)
last updated October 2023
articles & papers
EN Ultra-processed foods: what they are and how to identify them, Public Health Nutrition
EN Articles on Ultra-processed food, The Conversation
EN Ultra-processed foods: A global threat to public health, Global Food Research Program
EN Commercial determinants of health, The Lancet
EN How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket, The Guardian
EN Agriculture has changed the planet – now we need to change our diet to protect it, Big Issue
EN The world is hooked on junk food: how big companies pull it off, The Conversation
EN World Health Organization Warns Against Using Artificial Sweeteners, The New York Times
EN The ‘Good Food Good Farming’ Movement Campaigns for a Better EU Food System, Slow Food
EN What we know about the health risks of ultra-processed foods, NPR
FR Ces aliments ultratransformés qui peuvent vous rendre malade, Radio-Canada
NO Forskarar viser at industrimat gjev kreftfare: – Må bli ein større del av kosthaldsdebatten, NRK
EN How the long shadow of drink giants pushes public health and sugar labelling into the shade, ABC News
EN Why is cancer striking earlier? One answer could be a diet of ultra-processed foods, The Guardian
EN The link between highly processed foods and brain health, The New York Times
EN What is the purpose of ultra-processed food? An exploratory analysis of the financialisation of ultra-processed food corporations and implications for public health, 03 October 2023, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square [https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-3366358/v1]
EN Melted, pounded, extruded: Why many ultra-processed foods are unhealthy, The Washington Post
EN Ultra-Processed Planet The impact of ultra-processed diets on climate, nature and health (and what to do about it), The Soil Association
EN Food Industry Influence Could Cloud the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, A New Report Says, The New York Times
EN Social, clinical, and policy implications of ultra-processed food addiction, BMJ
EN School-based nutrition education, cooking, and gardening intervention: Impact on unprocessed and ultra-processed food consumption in children, American Society for Nutrition
EN Depression Linked to Ultra-Processed Foods, Sweeteners, WebMD
EN How Lunchables ended up on school lunch trays, The Washington Post
EN High intake of ultra-processed food is associated with dementia in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies, Journal of Neurology
EN PLANT THE FUTURE. Respect Animals, Protect the Planet, Slow Food
EN Diet for a Small Planet (20th Anniversary Edition): The Book That Started a Revolution in the Way Americans Eat, Frances Moore Lappé
EN Nutritionism — The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice, Gyorgy Scrinis
FR Mange et tais-toi: Un nutritionniste face au lobby alimentaire, Serge Hercberg
NO Hva og når skal vi spise? Marit Kolby
FR Sauver la planète une bouchée à la fois, Bernard Lavallée
EN Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, and Fair, Carlo Petrini
FRPourquoi tout compliquer ? Bien manger est si simple !, Anthony Fardet
EN Brain Changer: The Good Mental Health Diet, Felice Jacka
EN Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us, Michael Moss
EN Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, Dan Saladino
NO Barnematrevolusjonen – frigjør deg fra matindustriens grep, og ta gode valg for barna dine, Maja Skogstad
EN Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, Marion Nestle
EN Why We Eat (Too Much): The New Science of Appetite, Andrew Jenkinson
EN Ravenous: How to get ourselves and our planet into shape, Henry Dimbleby and Jemima Lewis
EN Food, Jennifer Clapp
EN Unprocessed: How the Food We Eat Is Fuelling Our Mental Health Crisis, Kimberley Wilson
EN We are the Weather: Saving The Planet Begins at Breakfast, Jonathan Safran Foer
EN Feeding Britain Our Food Problems and How To Fix Them, Tim Lang
EN Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World, Carolyn Steel
EN Soda Politics: Taking On Big Soda (and Winning), Marion Nestle
EN Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, Michael Pollan
EN How To Build A Healthy Brain, Kimberley Wilson
things to watch
Sometimes academic research is better communicated in a presentation. And sometimes it’s easier to digest difficult or abundant information when it has been carved up into an easy-to-consume program.
A few of the for-the-public documentaries below can be a bit shallow and/or sensationalistic, so I would recommend using them more as a launching pad into a deeper dive on the topic, rather than taking them at face value or viewing them as the complete story. That’s why I also included for-academics-and-professionals viewing materials. Still, let’s not let perfection become the enemy of progress.
All of these various resources provide good motivation for thought, discussion, and action — and, while we cannot do everything at once, something must be done… at once!
a selection of talks, lectures & documentaries
(in English, French, or Norwegian)
last updated November 2023
a bit more in-depth
FR Rôle de la nutrition dans la prévention des maladies chroniques – Mathilde Touvier (2023)
EN The Nova Food Classification System: rationale, description and applications — Columbia University
EN Eating in the Anthropocene: Healthy, Sustainable & Equitable Food on a Systemic Level
FR Comment le design urbain influence l’alimentation des citoyens avec Bernard Lavallée
EN Ultra-Processed Foods (Kevin Hall)
EN Food Politics 2019: “Nutrition Science Under Siege” with Marion Nestle
EN Accelerating veg consumption: What more can we do to change diets? -Veg Summit Series
a bit more superficial (and sometimes sensational) viewings
EN Ultra-Processed Food: A Recipe for Ill Health? (BBC)
EN Farmworkers: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
EN What Are We Feeding Our Kids? (BBC)/ NO Vet du hva barnet ditt spiser? (NRK)
FR Pays émergents, de la famine à l’obésité (Investigations et Enquêtes)
FR Les aliments transformés qui nous tuent (100% Docs)
EN India’s Obesity Timebomb (Bloomberg)
FR Un monde obèse (ARTE)
EN Cheap food (ARTE) / FR La grande malbouffe (ARTE)
EN That Sugar Film (3Doc)
EN Ultra-Processed Food: A Recipe for Ill Health? (BBC Panorama)