Recent crises such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have thrown the vulnerability of supply chains, and with them, food supplies, into sharp focus. But as the FT’s Camilla Hodgson reports, a landmark UN report says climate-related shocks such as extreme weather events will become more common and severe and could further upend food supply chains. But what can we do about it?
Even the ancient Greeks, wealthy Romans and Emperor August were big asparagus fans. Presumably, the Romans with their expansionist campaigns were behind its quick spread in Europe, including in Germany.
Today, Germany is one of the leading producers of asparagus in Europe. But why are Germans so crazy about the “white gold”? Our reporter Brant Dennis visits an asparagus farm during harvest, to see what exactly makes this funny-looking vegetable so popular.
Ancient food in the Merzouga Region of Morocco. Merzouga is a small Moroccan town in the Sahara Desert, near the Algerian border. It’s known as a gateway to Erg Chebbi, a huge expanse of sand dunes north of town. West of Merzouga, Dayet Srji is a seasonal salt lake that’s often dry in summer. When full, it attracts a wide range of migratory and desert birds, including desert warblers, Egyptian nightjars and, occasionally, flamingos.
Restaurants: Dar Aytma Restaurant and Dar Gnaoua Bambara.
The burgeoning field of “nutrigenomics” claims that the food we eat can alter our genetics. Dietitians, scientists and lifestyle companies have all hopped on the bandwagon.
Nutrigenomics (also known as nutritional genomics) is broadly defined as the relationship between nutrients, diet, and gene expression. The launch of the Human Genome Project in the 1990s and the subsequent mapping of human DNA sequencing ushered in the ‘era of big science’, jump-starting the field of nutrigenomics that we know today.
The war in Ukraine has hit the supply of grains and vegetable oils, while around 70% of the world’s cod and haddock comes from Russian boats. Global food prices are soaring and some restaurateurs fear a plate of cod and chips could rise to £20. The FT’s Daniel Garrahan and food writer and restaurateur Tim Hayward travel to England’s south west coast to see how two restaurants which source local, sustainable fish are coping with inflationary pressures.
Filmed by Petros Gioumpasis and Richard Topping. Edited by Richard Topping. Produced by Daniel Garrahan and Tim Hayward.
May 2, 2022 – Our food system is a rich, complex blend of biology and culture. From the biodiversity in forests, oceans, and farms to the living weave of long-standing traditions and emerging trends, food touches every aspect of life on Earth. This diversity hasn’t always carried through to agricultural and culinary literatures, but fortunately this is changing. Fresh perspectives are emerging in the literary discussions of food, addressing a range of topics and cuisines. In 2022, Science will share this tapestry in a limited podcast series on science and food. Hosted by journalist Angela Saini, the series will highlight books from around the world that intersect with this theme. A different book and its author will appear monthly on the Science podcast, beginning on 26 May 2022.
Together, the books discussed in these segments expose an entanglement of biology, culinary science, and culture. In Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, Dan Saladino addresses biodiversity loss and the future of food. Saladino covers vast swaths of time and space, taking us from wild honey gatherers in Africa to rare Orkney barley as he demonstrates that species loss is linked to cultural loss.
Food literatures also demand that we confront ourselves and our blind spots. T. Colin Campbell’s The Future of Nutrition: An Insider’s Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right explores the evidence of the health benefits of plant-based diets. Crucially, this book exposes the cultural and political inertia protecting animal protein from scrutiny, reminding us that scientific research is never detached from society.
“Barcelona combines everything that is most charming about Mediterranean cities – a relaxed pace, months of endless sunshine, unbeatable food – with the cultural and design clout of almost any city in the cold north.”
SALLY DAVIES, TELEGRAPH DESTINATION EXPERT
DINING & HOTELS
CULTURE & HISTORY
TRANSPORT & GETTING THERE
A tour of the countryside villa Bramasole in Cortona, Italy, with author Frances Mayes. Chef Silvia gives a cooking lesson using local ingredients, and a jeweller talks about Tuscany’s goldsmithing tradition.
Follow chef/owner Stefano Secchi through an entire day at his rustic Italian restaurant Rezdôra, from organizing a kitchen of line cooks and rolling fresh pasta through serving dinner each night in the heart of Manhattan. Take a first hand look behind the scenes to see what really goes into serving high-quality cuisine day in, day out.
Athens! What a city. The Greek capital is home to more culture and history than you can imagine so our Athens travel guide is designed to give you the tools to unlock Athens on your own terms. Athens transport, Greek food, and tips to stay safe are all included.
Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece.