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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Hello, I’m your host Kellie. Welcome back to EnglishClass101.com.
Gina: Hi everyone, I’m Gina. This is Culture Class, Season 2, lesson 21 – the top five most important facts about British food.
Kellie: Yes, we’ve moved onto food now so we’ll begin by introducing the topic and telling you about those important things you need to know.
Gina: We’ll explain a few things that you should keep in mind as we progress through the next few lessons.

Lesson focus

Kellie: Let’s start with number 5 – food, by definition, excludes drinks but the food industry doesn’t.
Gina: Define the word “food” for me.
Kellie: Um, something you eat? Something that gives you sustenance?
Gina: Yeah, that works! The online version of the Cambridge dictionary describes food as “something that people and animals eat, or plants absorb, to keep them alive”.
Kellie: That’s what I said!
Gina: So it doesn’t include drinks?
Kellie: You don’t eat drinks. Drinks are their own category, aren’t they? We say “food and drink” after all, and many restaurants have a separate drinks menu.
Gina: That’s right. But what about the food industry? Is that just solid foods and not liquids?
Kellie: Ah, I think the term “food industry” includes drinks.
Gina: It does include drinks and it will include drinks when we talk about it in the next few lessons.
Kellie: Okay, that’s an important distinction to make.
Gina: I thought so. I’m glad we started with that one!
Kellie: Okay, number 4 is that food is a guaranteed industry.
Gina: We all need to eat, right? No matter what our situation is, we have to eat and that food is provided by the food industry.
Kellie: The industry has guaranteed money.
Gina: Yes. And we need to constantly buy food too. The entertainment and technology industries are non-essential industries. We don’t need a brand new phone and we don’t need to see the latest movie.
Kellie: It’s a consumer choice. If we have the money, we will chose to do it, but only if we have the money.
Gina: Whereas with food, we have to buy it, however we can choose what we buy.
Kellie: That neatly brings us to number 3 – competition is fierce.
Gina: So, we just established that we have to eat and give money to the food industry.
Kellie: Yes, we have no choice but to eat.
Gina: Our choice lies in what we eat and where we buy it from.
Kellie: The money is guaranteed to the food industry as a whole, but not to the individual companies.
Gina: They are fighting for our food money. The industry can be very lucrative and can result in high profits for companies if they can get people to buy their products.
Kellie: I’m sure we’ll see that in future lessons.
Gina: We will. Companies are always introducing new lines or improving recipes to make us buy their food.
Kellie: They’re always advertising and producing special offers too, especially companies in the food industry that sell food instead of making it, such as supermarkets.
Gina: We’ll definitely talk about supermarkets later! They’re experts at discounts and loyalty schemes to get more custom and keep the customers they already have.
Kellie: They’re a great demonstration of the food industry at work. Number 2 is exactly that – that food is an industry.
Gina: If you think of the word ‘industry’, you might only think of big manufacturers such as the companies we spoke about earlier in the series.
Kellie: The type making aeroplanes and manufacturing high cost items.
Gina: Yes. However, food is also an industry. It’s even an industry in the exact same way that aerospace is, just on a smaller scale.
Kellie: Are you going to compare jumbo jets to my toast?
Gina: Why not? If we take jumbo jets and your toast as an example, both products would have been manufactured from raw materials, metal and flour respectively, and there was probably some research and design that happened first.
Kellie: Research into toast?
Gina: Research into the perfect recipe to make the perfect bread. After the manufacturing both products would have been tested for safety, in the case of the jumbo jet, and taste in the case of the bread, and then finally released. Probably with some advertising or market research as well.
Kellie: Ah, I see what you mean. The scale is different but the industries still follow the same patterns.
Gina: Yes, all industries want to get our money after all, so the methods for doing that are very similar!
Kellie: Shall we announce our number 1 now?
Gina: I don’t think there’s anything left for us to do in this lesson, so we should! Please, tell us!
Kellie: Okay, as you asked so nicely! Number 1 is that the food industry constantly changes.
Gina: It’s a very fast moving industry. We spoke about this a few seconds ago, but food companies are constantly developing and releasing new lines or improvements on their old lines. It’s all in the hope of increasing their market share and beating their competitors.
Kellie: I suppose that the food industry is a lot easier and quicker to change than some other industries. To use the jumbo jet example again, it must take years of development to get a new plane in the air but I doubt a new biscuit takes as long.
Gina: I doubt it too! Of course, people’s tastes change too and food can fall in and out of fashion.
Kellie: Yeah, I think that there has been a real move in the last few years towards food that is less processed.
Gina: Definitely. People don’t want food full of artificial colours and ingredients anymore, and the food industry has to quickly react to that.
Kellie: Healthy eating is in, mainly!
Gina: Speaking of healthy eating, the government are often changing food guidelines as more research is completed on food types and their effects on the body. If there is a ban or limit on an ingredient, the industry has to react to that quickly also.
Kellie: There have been a lot of changes to what information needs to be on packaging too. The way ingredients are listed and the nutritional information that needs to be displayed has changed.
Gina: Yes, something else the food industry needs to keep up with.
Kellie: If they don’t keep up then the best that will happen is a drop in sales. The worst, is possible penalties such as fines or having to withdraw items.
Gina: There’s a great responsibility that comes from selling food to the public.
Kellie: As there should be! That’s all for this lesson.


Gina: See you next time!
Kellie: Thanks for listening!
Gina: Bye!

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Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners! What do you know about British food?