eating

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 April 2024

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

EN Ultra-Processed Foods: why did we create them and why can’t we stop eating them?, Rear Vision (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

EN From Plate to Policy: how can YOU take action towards a sustainable food future?

EN Junk food advertising under the spotlight, ABC listen

EN Eating for the climate: exploring sustainability and food choices, WXXI News NPR

EN Ultra-processed foods are killing us and the planet, with Kim Anastasiou, Public Health Nutrition from Foodies in the Field

 

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 April 2024

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 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 10 ways forward to transform food systems for climate and nature, The United Nations Development Programme

EN Is That Food Ultra-Processed? How to Tell, The Wall Street Journal

EN Government inaction on obesity is harming our health, The Guardian

EN School meals and food systems: Rethinking the consequences for climate, environment, biodiversity and food sovereignty, Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition

EN Corporate interest groups and their implications for global food governance: mapping and analysing the global corporate influence network of the transnational ultra-processed food industry, Globalization and Health

EN Are Ultra-Processed Foods Fattening? They Are for Company Profits, The Wall Street Journal

EN Consumers fear health risks of ultra-processed foods – but lack guidance needed to make healthy choices, EIT Food

EN Like cigarettes, junk food should come with a warning: ‘Can kill’, The Guardian

EN Shifting to healthier diets is also better for planet health, simulation research flags, Nutrition Insight

EN It is time for a coalition against ultra-processed foods, The BMJ

EN From anxiety to cancer, the evidence against ultra-processed food piles up, NPR

EN Time to Treat the Climate and Nature Crisis as One Indivisible Global Health Emergency, Public Heath Ethics

EN This is Your Brain on Ultra-Processed Foods, WSJ

 

books

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

FR Pourquoi 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

FR Halte aux aliments ultra transformés ! Mangeons vrai, Anthony Fardet

EN Ultra-Processed People: The Science Behind the Food That Isn’t Food, Chris Van Tulleken

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

FR Big Food & Cie – Comment la recherche du profit à tout prix nuit à notre santé, Mélissa Mialon

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

EN Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America’s Food Industry, Austin Frerick

 

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 March 2024

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

EN Ultra-Processed Food: The Tipping Point — Food, Farming & Countryside Commission (FFCC)

EN The public meeting of the House of Lords Committee on Food, Diet, and Obesity

 

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)

FR Santé : que cachent les additifs alimentaires ?

EN Is food working for everyday people? (Food, Farming, and Countryside Commission)

EN Experts in Health: How to make nutritious meals on a budget – advice from a Performance Chef (Loughborough University)