Food

Once Upon a Farm

Is it ever sustainable to eat beef? When is food “slow food” and what’s the environmental cost and benefit to taking it slow?  Join the Planet Pod team down on the farm as Amanda chats with Bridget and Bill Biddell, owners of Hampton Estate and Shane Holland, Executive Chairman of Slow Food.

Our guests:

Bridget Biddell (1)
Corporate photos B and B by Tess 073

Bridget Biddell (nee Thornton) and her husband Bill run and manage the Hampton Estate in Surrey and live at Hampton Lodge with their two daughters.  Bill is the Chief Executive of the Hampton Estate and Hampton Estate Farms.

Bill graduated from Cambridge University and then qualified as a Chartered Surveyor specialising in commercial property before joining the estate in 1988.

The estate produces 100% grass fed beef from its pedigree Sussex herd and specialises in the growing of Fuggles Hops used by traditional breweries across the UK. The estate woodlands are managed for high quality timber and the estate buildings comprise cottages, houses, offices, workshops and a craft centre.

Bill has been a college governor at Merrist Wood College, Guildford, he sits on the Surrey Nature Partnership, is a director of Stern Farms and has recently stepped down as Chairman of The Surrey Agricultural Society.

SH Head (1)

Shane Holland is the Executive Chairman of Slow Food in the UK.  He has held CEO positions within both the business and the third sectors and has chaired a number of large NFPS. Within the third sector his work has specialised in regards to our most vulnerable citizens, their issues of food poverty & food skills, education, offending, and access to service. 

His other current roles include chairing Eat Club, the organisation that teaches food skills to young people and sitting as a  trustee of the charity United St Saviours, which gives grants to community groups and other charities of in excess of £1 million a year alongside running best in class almshouses. 

He is a governor and chair of Friends of Highshore School, a special School which has food education, growing, and food enterprise as an integral part of its curriculum, and is past chair of Plan Zheroes, the platform that connects surplus fresh food with charities and people in need.   

A  food writer – specialist subject, cheese – he also frequently sits on expert panels,  appears both in print and on the radio, lectures at universities, has given a TED Talk as one of their “Architects of Tomorrow”, and carries out dozens of speaking engagements a year.  

We are delighted that Planet Pod was shortlisted as a finalist for the Be The Change Awards 2019.  See our short award entry video here.

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Planet Pod goes Underground with Growing Underground’s Richard Ballard and Faye Tomson from District Eating

Something is stirring in the tunnels of South London and it isn’t the Northern Line!

Join Amanda and guest co-host Alex Gilbert as they chat deep below London with Richard Ballard, co-founder of Growing Underground and Faye Tomson, MD of Central Eating.  Hear how how disused WWII air raid shelter tunnels are being put to good use to grow salad crops organically, efficiently and unbelievably fast.  Find out more about how unused heat generated from district heating networks can be used to grow food.  These really are examples of Smart Food Production in action!

Our guests:

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Richard Ballard has started an agricultural revolution along with business partner Steven Dring in the form of Growing Underground. Located 100ft under the streets of London in disused WW2 Air Raid Shelter, this subterranean urban farm sustainably produces micro-greens using the latest LED technology. The duo are now delivering fresh hyper local produce to retailers and the London wholesale markets.

Sustainably feeding the city from within the city, Richard is obsessed by all things green tech and the future of cities.

Click on the following links to view the film he made which inspired Growing Underground – full length and animation only

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Faye Tomson is an Energy and Environmental Engineer with extensive experience working in the fields of district heating, low carbon heat infrastructure projects, and industrial resource efficiency. She has worked on some of the UKs most cutting-edge heat infrastructure projects, as well as with some large-scale industrial food and drink producers, advising on resource efficiency. Faye spent several years working for the UK Government Heat Network Development Unit.

Faye comes from a family of farmers and horticulturalists, so has a lifelong experience of food markets and production. It was this background combined with her previous work experience that led Faye to realise the opportunity for efficiency savings for all stakeholders that can be achieved when the gap between energy use and 
food production is bridged.
Faye is an alumni of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and as well as being commercially aware, she also has a desire to maximise the very real social benefits that can be achieved through urban and community farming.  

Alex Gilbert (1)

Guest co-host for this episode:

Alex Gilbert is Senior Energy Strategy Manager at TfL as well as being Principal and Director of Clean Growth Ltd.  In his role with TfL he is curating, commercialising and delivering the energy projects that will assist in the transformation of TfL – London’s largest and most significant energy user.

HOT NEWS:  We are delighted that Planet Pod has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Be The Change Awards 2019.  See our short award entry video here.

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Planet Pod talks Sustainable Sourcing with Fairtrade’s David Finlay and eco chef Tom Hunt

Question:  What has a banana, your mobile phone and your fridge got in common?  Answer:  They can all be Fairtrade products!

Listen to our latest pod to find out how the gold in your phone (or even in your fridge) is as important to the Fairtrade movement as the banana in your fruitbowl. Join Amanda in conversation with David Finlay from Fairtrade Foundation and award winning eco chef Tom Hunt as they discuss gold, coffee and bananas…plus Tom’s secret recipe for hot chocolate!

2019 marks the 25th Anniversary of Fairtrade in the UK and presents an opportune moment to re-examine both its need and relevance.

Our guests:

David Finlay

David Finlay is a Supply Chain Manager at Fairtrade Foundation, where he has worked for the last 8 years. In his time with Fairtrade, he has supported a wide range of initiatives particularly with cocoa, coffee and, more recently, gold producers in the Lake Victoria Region of East Africa.

Call to action:  Please support Fairtrade by

  • Buying Fairtrade certified products
  • Taking action in Fairtrade Fortnight (25 Feb – 10 Mar 19) to campaign for fairer prices for cocoa farmers – see below for info and links

Links:

What is Fairtrade

How to get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight 2019

10 facts on how Fairtrade tackles food security

Food security briefing report

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Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food writer, Guardian columnist, cookbook author and sustainable food expert. He co-owns a small restaurant called Poco in Bristol – awarded the most sustainable restaurant in the U.K. in both 2016 and 2018 – and works as a sustainability consultant. Tom prioritises people and the environment within his work and believes in a fair global food system where our actions benefit the environment.

Fairtrade Fortnight: 25 February – 10 March 2019

For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year we are focusing on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much.

FIND OUT MORE AND GET INVOLVED HERE

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Planet Pod visits BedZed and talks One Planet Living with Bioregional’s Sue Riddlestone and Suzannah Gore

Amanda braves the snowy weather and visits BedZed – the pioneering low carbon housing and community development in Sutton – where she is joined in conversation by Sue Riddlestone, CEO Biogregional and Suzannah Gore, Project Manager, to talk about sustainable consumption and production, One Planet Living and the circular economy (as well as using soap instead of shampoo and the quiet revolution in garden centres at B&Q!)

 

Our guests:

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Sue Riddlestone co-founded Bioregional’s One Planet Living initiative in 2003 after Bioregional initiated and worked with others to create the BedZED eco-village in South London. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are also very close to her heart. After five years of work on the UN process to secure the SDGs – and being the official NGO global focal point for successful efforts to include the goal of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) – her work to implement the SDGs continues through the Transform Together network, which focuses on SCP, and other initiatives.

Suzannah Gore

Suzannah Gore manages projects that help businesses shift towards the circular economy and more sustainable consumption and production, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12. She has worked with home improvement company Kingfisher to develop criteria, guidance and roadmaps to improve the sustainability of its products. She also works with other companies including M&S, Nando’s and innocent on a range of projects covering sustainability data monitoring, supply chain research, sustainable procurement and developing tools to help implement circular economy principles.

 

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Planet Pod talks Sustainable Living and Christmas Giving with Caroline Arnold at Bore Place

Join Amanda and Jim in conversation with Caroline Arnold – Director of Bore Place, and Tom Forward – Education Coordinator at this inspirational sustainable working farm and community in the heart of the Kent Countryside. You can almost taste the freshly pulled leeks, feel the squelch of the mud and smell the breath of the cows as our producer Jim gets well acquainted with the organic dairy herd!

Planet Pod goes Gold in Bristol and talks sustainable food with Jane Stevenson, Sara Venn, Heather Mack, Jennifer Best and Angela Raffle

Q: What can you do with 9 tonnes of Pumpkins? A: Make curry, of course!

This and other questions were on the menu when we sat around the table to chat about sustainable food and how Bristol is going for Gold as a Sustainable Food City with our guests Jane Stevenson – chair of the Bristol Food Network, Sara Venn – head of Incredible Edible Bristol, Jennifer Best – co-Director of award winning Bristol restaurant Poco (winner of most sustainable restaurant of the year 2018), Heather Mack from the sustainable food campaigning organisation Feedback’s and public health expert Dr Angela Raffle from the University of Bristol.

We talk food love and reconnecting with our sense of the seasons – and of course Pumpkins!  See below for a mouth-watering recipe. 

LINKS:
Bristol Food Network

Bristol Food Alliance

Sustainable Food Cities (to find a city near you which is a member of the SFC network)

Feedback sustainable food campaign

Incredible Edible Bristol

With thanks to Heather Mack, here is a yummy Pumpkin Curry recipe for using up all those pumpkins!! :

(Dependent on the size of the pumpkin – serves roughly 4).

1 pumpkin (or as much pumpkin as you want)
2 onions – Diced
4 bulbs of garlic
3cm of ginger
4tsp garam masala (or more to taste) + cumin seeds or anything else you really like.
1 can coconut milk
Any other veg that needs using up.
 
Fry onions till they begin to brown, then add onion and garlic, after 1 minute add spices, pumpkin and any hard vegetables. Add coconut milk and enough water to cover vegetables, simmer for 10 minutes then add any softer vegetables. Once pumpkin is soft spoon out 1/2 the sauce and 1/2 the pumpkin (and any other root veg) and blend. Add back to the pan, season and serve with rice or naan.

Our guests:

Jen Best Head shot 1 BW

Jennifer Best is co-owner of Poco, a British seasonal tapas restaurant in the heart of Stokes Croft. Poco’s mission is to be a part of a positive change in the food system and to contribute to a more sustainable future. Ethical sourcing, strict waste management, and staff training and welfare are amongst the company’s forward-thinking policies that made Poco the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s ‘UK’s Sustainable Restaurant of the Year’ in 2016 and 2018.

Jennifer is also on the Advisory Board for Catalyse Change CIC, an organisation that supports girls and young women to become change-makers and leaders in the Green Economy.

Sara Venn

Sara Venn runs Incredible Edible Bristol which is part of the worldwide Incredible Edible movement, bringing communities together and supporting a kinder and more connected city using food and growing as a trojan horse to do this. We work with communities, listening to their ideas and supporting them to come into fruition, gently teaching the rabidly disappearing skills of good horticulture and growing as we go, as well as offering other support as the communities need them. Within that we also run a few garden in the city centre from our central team, bringing food to approx 20 city centre spaces, and gently supporting the idea of edible landscapes

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Jane Stevenson is Chair of Bristol Food Network, a Community Interest Company which supports, informs and connects individuals, community projects, organisations and businesses who share a vision to transform Bristol into a sustainable food city.

Angela Raffle

Dr Angela Raffle qualified in medicine in 1980 and became a national and international figure in the world of health screening programmes. in 2008 she joined Transition Bristol volunteers, leading her into Bristol’s food movement, helping with the ‘Who Feeds Bristol’ report, Bristol Food Policy Council and The Community Farm CSA in the Chew Valley, where she is chair of the management committee.  She is a big fan of the Transition Movement and the philosophy of ‘start with your self’.

Heather for Planet Pod

Heather Mack is interested in all aspects of food waste, and sustainable food in Bristol, starting off with FoodCycle she spent a lot of time redistributing and cooking with food that would have gone to waste. She’s now helping the Bristol Food Network plan the community engagement activities to reduce food waste as part of our bid to be a Gold Sustainable Food City. She also works for Feedback, a sustainable food campaigning organisation, running the Gleaning network for the West of England, they rescue fruit and veg that would have been wasted on farmers fields.

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Planet Pod goes on safari at Knepp Estate and talks with Isabella Tree

Join us as we take a safari through the 3500 acres of wild Sussex countryside at Knepp Estate – one of the largest rewilding projects in lowland Europe. With our guide Tom Forward we encounter longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs and even some airborne White Storks!  Isabella Tree who –  along with her husband Charlie Burrell – owns and runs Knepp, shares her passion and vision and tells us the story of their extraordinary journey over the last 18 years.

LINKS:
Knepp Estate and Knepp Safaris

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Isabella Tree writes for publications such as National Geographic, Granta, The Sunday Times and The Observer. Her articles have been selected for The Best American Travel Writing and Reader’s Digest Today’s Best Non-Fiction, and she was Overall Winner of the Travelex Travel Writer Awards. 

She published her first book The Bird Man – a Biography of John Gould when she was 25.

Her latest book Wilding – the Return of Nature to an English Farm charts the story of the pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex where she lives with her husband Charlie Burrell.  

 

‘The remarkable story of an astounding transformation’ George Monbiot, author of Feral.

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.

Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.

Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.

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Planet Pod and the Great Food Debate

Our host Amanda Carpenter (Achill Management) talks about sustainable food and food production with our expert guests: Paul Newnham, head of the SDG 2 Advocacy Hub, Helen Munday, Chief Scientific Officer at the Food And Drink Federation and science policy briefs; Julia Porter, National Supply Chain Manager at Bio Bean.