This article is from 2006.
Edinburgh-based Joanna Blythman is one of Britain’s leading commentators on a subject which should be relatively important to most of us: food. However, we’re not talking classy canapés, dreamy desserts and other gastro-porn. Blythman’s home turf is the distasteful reality of what we actually eat in Britain every day. You need only flick-read a few pages of Shopped, her searing indictment of the way supermarkets mess with our heads and our diets, to think twice about stepping through the over-lit portal of your nearest superstore.
Supermarkets, however, aren’t the only target of Blythman’s withering criticism. Her most recent book, Bad Food Britain, surveys the nation’s ‘profound gastronomic illiteracy’, jabbing a fork at celebrity chefs, over-hyped restaurants, food scientists and the prevailing culture that actively nurtures cheap, processed, tasteless, unhealthy food. ‘British consumers, poorly educated in food, de-skilled in cooking, and traditionally indifferent or even resistant to the idea that food is important in life, have effectively entered into a complicit pact with the food industry,’ she rails. ‘“You sell me processed food, tarted up to look and sound as good as homemade, and I’ll buy it.”’ (Donald Reid)
13 Aug, 2pm, £7 (£5); 24 Aug (with Graham Harvey), 7.30pm, £8 (£6).