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PaulS's picture

BBC 2 - The Future Of Food

The review is pretty dire, but the documentary has started well.
Watch the first episode here:, two more to follow.

The Independent - 17/08/09

Of all the contenders in the BBC News department, George Alagiah was the perfect pick to present The Future of Food.

Had it been someone with the demeanour of, say, Orla Guerin, the hollow-eyed Africa correspondent who looks as though she last heard a joke in 1981 and could introduce existential angst into a chimps' tea party, then I would have needed to lie down for an hour afterwards in a darkened room. Because the prognosis for food production on our planet is not good. In fact, it is rotten. But Alagiah presented it with a twinkle in his dark eyes and a half-smile playing on his lips, which gave this viewer at least cause for gratitude.

I have always rather liked the cut of Alagiah's jib, so it was good to see his jib out on the road for a change, albeit in pursuit of evidence that we are heading to hell in a handcart, a handcart shedding nutritious food every inch of the way. The statistics came as thick and fast as pancakes in an American diner. Within 15 years, the burgeoning water shortage will have reduced global food production by the extent of the current US grain crop, which is to say, a lot. A billion people lack access to safe water. The impact of climate change on India is already catastrophic, and every single degree increase in temperature means a five per cent decrease in yields. Oh, and apparently it takes two pints of crude oil to produce a roast dinner in a London pub, which came as no great surprise when I considered some of the meals I've had in pubs, although what he meant was the oil required for working the land, transportation, storage and processing.

Alagiah, who spends most of his working life in London's White City, was here dispatched to India, Cuba, Kenya and Mexico, at what cost in crude oil to the licence-payer I wouldn't like to think, although I didn't begrudge him a single air mile, or a single stroll through a sun-dappled plaza.

An excellent new three-part documentary series. Don't miss it!

Watch the first episode here: