The food industry has a big problem with packaging, but what if you could simply eat your wrapper or coffee cup instead of throwing it away?
Could packaging made from food ingredients prevent our oceans and landfill sites from being clogged with waste, much of it plastic? Could it still preserve and protect our food from damage or spoiling? And does it taste any good?
Emily Thomas speaks to two companies developing edible products - one producing plates, cups and bowls, the other making a protective coating for fruit -to find out whether edible packaging is really a clever solution to some serious environmental problems, or just a marketing gimmick.
And a food futurologist explains why we're all likely to see more food-based packaging on our supermarket shelves, and how that could change the way we eat and shop.
(Picture: A woman pretending to eat a plate. Credit: Getty/BBC)
How dangerous is your food delivery?
How dangerous is your takeaway?
If you ever order food through an online delivery service like UberEats, DoorDash, or Deliveroo, you probably think only about the meal that will soon will arrive at your door - will it arrive quickly, and piping hot? You possibly don’t think much about the person delivering it, let alone whether they have put themselves at risk in getting it to you.
These companies allow customers to order food from a range of restaurants, and then provide a delivery service - by assigning jobs to drivers who are usually self-employed.
Across the world, their popularity is soaring. But one hidden aspect of their growth is the dangers faced by their growing legions of delivery drivers, from road accidents, to intimidation, to violence.
The Food Chain has seen dozens of reports from all over the world, and spoken to numerous people who work with these companies, all suggesting that the safety of takeaway delivery drivers, needs closer scrutiny.
Emily Thomas investigates what it is about food delivery in particular that can be so dangerous - and whether enough is being done to keep these drivers safe.
Please note: This programme contains content that some may find disturbing.
(Photo: Food delivery driver. Credit: Getty Images/ BBC)
Will robot pickers change our fruit?
Across the world, as fruits ripen, teams of pickers set out across the fields. Without them, produce would be left to rot and farms profits would plummet.
But in many countries, population shifts and changes to immigration laws have left farmers struggling to find enough people to do the work. The effect has been particularly pronounced in the US where President Trump has cracked down on immigration, and the UK with its plans to leave the EU.
Enter the robots. Over the past few years, interest and investment in machines that can pick fruit and vegetables that are usually harvested by humans, have been ramping up.
Emily Thomas asks whether we should welcome these new developments. Picking fruit is low paid, low-skilled and physically demanding work, and exploitation in the industry is well-documented. But it’s also a source of income that many depend on, and the main source of employment in some parts of the world.
Plus, if we do let machines do the job, what are the implications for the environment, and how our food looks and tastes?
(Picture: Man reaches forward to pick an apple from a tree. Credit: BBC/ Getty Images)
How to date a vegan
How can you have a successful relationship with someone whose eating habits you find repulsive, infuriating, even morally abhorrent? What do you do when your wife and mother are locked in a fierce battle over what you eat, when your long term partner insists on eating sandwiches in bed, or when you’re in love with a vegan but like nothing better than a chicken teriyaki?
As part of Crossing Divides, a BBC season bringing people together in a fragmented world, Emily Thomas meets three couples who are strongly divided when it comes to their food preferences, and asks them to divulge how they handle it.
As economies develop and our eating habits become ever more individualised and with ever more choice, is food becoming the ultimate passion killer?
And are arguments about food ever really just about food, or do they signify a deeper incompatibility?
Plus, do couples that eat together stay together? And does it matter whether they are sharing the same dish?
(Image: A woman and a man disagree about meat Image credit: Getty Images)
How to cook for a megastar
What do the most famous names in film, sport and politics eat for dinner, and what does it say about who they really are? Three private chefs give us the ultimate insight into the lives of the rich and famous - after all, what's more exposing than what and how we choose to eat?
Emily Thomas hears about the Premiership footballer who wanted to helicopter a chef to his home to make him and his girlfriend oven chips, the politician who had a romantic meal with not one, but three beautiful young women, and the Hollywood star who would only eat what she could squeeze into half of a small plastic cup.
How do you even become a private chef, and how much money can you make? And what happens when the person you are cooking for is not someone you want to pander to - a politician whose policies you can’t abide, or a celebrity whose private behaviour makes you uncomfortable?
Emily speaks to Charlotte Leventis, the London-based founder and executive chef of Extravaganza Food; Kwame Amfor, founder of Biishville, a Ghanaian catering company; and Kathleen Schaffer, the founder and creative director of Schaffer LA. Between them they’ve cooked for A-listers including Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Idris Elba, Eddie Murphy, David Beckham and Kate Beckinsale.
(Picture: Kate Beckinsale, David Beckham and Idris Elba. Credit: Getty/BBC)