The 2023 food year in 10 podcasts
From Noma’s closing announcement to groundbreaking no waste initiatives
2023 was another excellent podcast year for anyone working in or passionate about food. In fact, it was difficult to narrow down just 10 podcasts to feature on our ultimate 2023 podcast list for your (re)listening pleasure. Dig into these hand-picked episodes and series for some serious food inspiration!
Social media regularly presents us with new food trends. Some bizarre and over the top, others a mere reflection of the times. Last summer, aka the Barbie summer, the term #GirlDinner came to life. Instafamous Olivia Maher unleashed this trend by posting a video of her non-styled dinner, straight from the fridge, without adding any fancy filters. All she did was tag the plate of food with a hashtag and #GirlDinner was born. The video went viral and the minimalist style of plating and posting about it was embraced around the world. Several food companies picked up on the term and even fast food chain Popeyes is serving a #girldinnermeal. In case you missed out on the hype, just listen to this podcast.
Featured episode: August 2023 - The mold and Olivia Maher on the why of TikTok hype #GirlDinner
#9. Food Lab Talk
Michiel Bakker, Vice President of Workplace Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability at Google, hosts an ongoing podcast series in which he interviews changemakers about the most pressing challenges in our food system. The first series focuses on food system loss & waste. In this featured episode he talks with Amy Keister, who is the Global Director of Sustainability at Compass Group. In the podcast, she talks about how the idea for Stop Food Waste Day grew into a global day of action. She also shares how Compass Group has made food waste part of the employee salary structure. Her motto for change: "Be realistic and not too puristic."
Featured episode: May 2023 - Amy Keister of Compass Group
#8. The economics of everyday things
The Freakonomics Radio Collective produces this great series with short episodes in which journalist Zachary Crockett scrutinizes familiar things and finds amazing stories. Like “why did pistachios and girl scout cookies become billion dollar products.” The featured episode is about a woman who changed the sports bar industry, by opening the first women’s sports bar, as most sports bars rarely screen female competitions or games. This podcast is truly inspiring and entertaining at the same time.
Featured episode: July 2023 - Women’s sports bars
#7. The Food Programme
What is edible? That's the pressing question when you need to survive solely on what nature has to offer. Alex is one of 28 chefs attempting to sustain themselves for three months through hunting and gathering. In the podcast, among other things, he talks about how young sorrel pairs nicely with a spoonful of ants. Chef Alex is part of the controlled research study "Wild Biome.” Initiator Monica Wilde is a forager, herbalist and ethnobotanist. With the experiment, she aims to find out how our bodies are changed by this alternative diet.
Featured episode: May 2023 - Eating Wild
This podcast series is all about food, with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up brand new episodes exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a food or farm-related topic. The featured episode is about the unsung hero of ancient foods: beans. The fact that they were domesticated in seven different places around the world shows how essential beans have been to early humans regardless of location. Over the decades, their popularity worldwide has declined, but new gas-free beans and varieties that take less time to cook are about to make beans cool again.
Featured episode: October 2023 - Beans, beans, the magical fruit
#5. How I built this with Guy Raz
Guy Raz interviews world-renowned entrepreneurs to learn how they built their iconic brands. He talks to them about their doubts, failures and successes. The entrepreneurs stem from a variety of industries. The featured episode offers an interesting discussion with food waste warrior Lucie Bash from Too Good To Go. She talks about the need for collaboration, whilst being the challenger in the market. They also discuss the emergence of social enterprises like Lucie’s, that fill the gap between charitable and profit-driven organizations. This episode offers an interesting profile of an interesting emerging company and entrepreneur.
Featured episode: November 2023 - The surprise that’s saving food
#4. The Europeans
This independent podcast collective makes award-winning podcasts which look at politics and culture around the European continent. The Europeans delves into the stories that don't get picked up in local media outlets and interviews fascinating people across Europe, from writers to activists, and scientists to chefs. This three-part series is about the story of Big Dairy and how an oat milk company is on a mission to defeat them by becoming the world’s biggest plant-based brand. Definitely tune in to this show.
Featured episode: October 2023 - The Oatly Chronicles, series of three
#3. The Menu
For years, Monocle has been known for its state-of-the-art design magazines, but they produce equally great podcasts. The Menu is a guide to the world of food, drink and entertainment. It serves up interviews with the world’s most creative chefs, introduces producers behind the scenes and the ingredients that will soon be landing on restaurant tables. In this featured episode, The Menu explores the world of sustainable eating and meets several trailblazers from the environmentally conscious food industry. Restaurateur and ecological campaigner Malcolm Wood of fine-dining restaurant The Aubrey, is a key guest in this podcast. It is an easy and enjoyable treat for the ears.
Featured episode: November 2023 - How can we eat more sustainably
#2. The Food Chain
This weekly award-winning show from BBC World Service takes a broad view of what we eat, exploring how food intersects with business, science and culture. Presented by Ruth Alexander, it is versatile in the chosen themes. The episode on ‘How AI could design our diets’ can’t be missed in this year’s podcast playlist. Every day, humans make multiple conscious and unconscious choices about what to eat. Some of those decisions are better for one’s health than others. But what if we allowed a machine to decide for us? The Food Chain considers such questions and has an extensive library with shows worth listening to.
Featured episode: April 2023 - How AI could design our diets
#1. Radio Cherry Bombe
It was probably the biggest restaurant news in 2023: René Redzepi, the influential chef and founder of three-star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, announced he will be closing his world-famous restaurant at the end of 2024. Food journalist Julia Moskin of The New York Times broke the story. In doing so, she also unleashed the global discussion around fine dining and the working conditions in the industry. Moskin openly questions whether the industry as a whole needs to reinvent itself. The journalist previously won a Pulitzer Prize and a James Beard award for her investigation into the toxic work culture and abuse at The Spotted Pig in New York. This must-listen podcast episode is hosted by Kerry Diamond on one of the most remarkable stories of 2023.
Featured episode: January 2023 - Noma and the future of fine dining
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