London has more than its fair share of food problems and foodie delights. This issue of London Essays covers both, and makes connections between them.
We think of food and drink in two quite different, even opposing ways, depending on context. The news pages of our daily media run stories about our growing waistlines, binge drinking and the proliferation of food banks, as well as on the destruction of natural habitats and wild food by farmers around the world. Food has become a symptom of moral failure. The lifestyle pages, by contrast, feature sumptuously photographed recipes and restaurant reviews. Food is a celebration of sensual delights, almost an art form: it is all about pleasure.