When it comes to food, the Brits are spoilt for choice. Many simply take it for granted that it’s possible to buy whatever food they want, whenever they want it, all year round. But what about the human cost of producing all this cheap food for our convenience?
In the follow-up to the Bafta-nominated BBC Three series Blood, Sweat And T-shirts, six young British consumers travel to South East Asia to see just what’s involved in producing the food they take for granted. The intrepid six are fussy eater Jess (19), fast-food fan Manos (20), fitness fanatic Olu (25), luxury food lover Lauren (21), keen cook Josh (20) and ethical shopper Stacey (20).
They must catch, harvest and process food products that are eaten every day in the UK, as they go behind the scenes of the tuna, prawn, rice and chicken industries. They also eat, sleep and live with the food workers in the poorest regions of Indonesia and Thailand and see how they fare living on the same wage – the average for such workers being around £3 a day.
In tonight’s first instalment, the Brits enter Indonesia’s tuna industry in Bitung, on the island of Sulawesi. In the UK, over a billion tins of tuna are consumed each year and Bitung’s canneries supply many of our supermarkets and sandwich chains.
Living with the workers in their basic conditions, the Brits endure the 90-degree heat of the tuna canneries and struggle with the harsh realities of life on a traditional wooden tuna boat in the Western Pacific. The extreme conditions affect them all – as does the hand-to-mouth existence of those they are living with.
After seeing the reality, will biting into a tuna sandwich ever be the same again?
Next week, the food lovers journey on to live and work alongside workers in the prawn industry.
Tuesday 19 May
9.00-10.00pm BBC THREE