Season 10 Episode 1

How has the Coronavirus affected the food world?

The Coronavirus is at the centre of everything right now. We’re all currently living in a very strange world and we’re seeing more and more restrictions as the days go by. Especially with food. From no eggs on the shelves to panic buying freezers, and a 2m social distance from other shoppers when you go on your weekly shop. It really is a global crisis. Today, we chat about how the virus is affecting the food world. We take a look at the creative things people and businesses are doing in food and explore what we think the future might hold for it. What are your local food experiences during this time? How have your local food businesses adapted to this situation and what amazing things are they doing? Comment below and get chatting.

Best soundbite:”In a positive spin, that probably meant your lack of smell meant you enjoyed your food even more!” – Mike Huttlestone

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Something to make you think...

In isolation we’re locked down within our household; that might mean being with families, couples, flatmates or even being completely alone. How has this time affected you for the better?

What would you like to feast your ears on?
If you want to contribute ideas or want to hear us discuss a particular topic then email us at


  1. tjmarskbb

    My sister and I were talking a lot yesterday because while it’s easy to get frustrated at not being able to leave our homes at the moment, we are lucky. No one in our families or friends has yet gotten sick and our incomes is not currently at risk. I try to have patience and remember that not everyone is that lucky.
    Eventually it will be over, then the question that needs to be asked will be: where do we go from here?

  2. cathio

    Hi – I’m behind and catching up on podcasts. Have you discussed a return to comfort foods during the pandemic? I know that I now have Oreos and TimTams in my house, which I haven’t had in my pantry for years.
    Also maybe putting bourbon cream in my normally black coffee 🙂
    I am looking forward to eating a meal somewhere other than my own dining room table when things start to open up again. Cheers guys!

  3. jchootie

    First off, TOILET PAPER HOGGING ? In Asia (bearing in mind water is king *wink*) people are using it to press elevator buttons and open doors, then immediately tossing it. It’s a humongous waste but I can’t control the masses so here I am moaning about it on an online forum. Yay me!

    With that in mind… Once the world returns to some form of normalcy, I am planning to uproot and move to Singapore, where restaurant culture is much more prevalent, and pursue working professionally as a chef. It’s a dream I’ve toyed with well over five years now. And having worked in the service line many moons ago, it’s still where my passion lies. Bearing in mind pursuing this career will bring shame to the family and I’ll be frowned upon for years to come (yes the doctor/lawyer joke is a very real and very prevalent thing here).

    What COVID-19 has offered is an opportunity for a genuine fresh start, as the world finds it’s footing again. So my real question is, I’d like to hear both Chefs talk about the industry in depth, what made them choose it, what made them succeed, what made them leave, would they consider going back, and what advice do they have for someone who’s a management graduate about to put his life on the line to pursue his passion?

    ~clearly I know working on Sorted is a huge passion and genuinely happy for y’all, and I wouldn’t want it any other way! Just wanted a professional opinion~

    IDEALLY a podcast episode ? A reply would suffice too. But ultimately, just wanted to hear from complete strangers if it will ever be worth the leap of faith, because I know what everyone around me thinks…

    PS. Thank you to all the team who put in the effort in planning, recording, editing and publishing your good works consistently without fail despite these extreme circumstances. And for that I am thankful. So thankful, that I paid for a Sorted subscription ? But in all seriousness, love you all greatly, and praying that you’ll keep up the good work. LOL from Malaysia <3

    PPS. Lots Of Love not Laugh Out Loud (okay maybe both) Stay strong and stay safe. To everyone at Sorted, both the team and the members of the community too!

    PPPS. I just always wanted to use PPPS

    • jchootie

      Christ, I might as well have written a college essay… Apologies for the long-winded-ness and have a pleasant day ahead everyone ❤

  4. hannah_221

    Great podcast as always guys!

    Concerning Ben’s point about people helping in agriculture, I’m from Austria where a similar model already exists. University students, who don’t have much to do at the moment, due to e-learning not working properly can apply to work on farms as harvest hands for a few months.
    Some Unis even recongize this as extra credit.

    Stay safe everyone xx

    • Sorted

      Thank you, we’re glad you enjoyed it! That’s such a great initiative you guys have going on when it comes to agriculture. It also provides the uni students with an incentive too with the extra credit, if we saw that on a CV we would definitely be impressed! Stay safe too!

  5. Carotte

    This article is so accurate! I’m still working, cause well babys are still being born, and I’m really grateful for that. If I couldn’t work, I wouldn’t know what to do? My family lives 150km away and I live in a small dorm room. In the first three weeks I was very optimistic, but now it slowly starts to get me. How long will this go on? When will I be able to see my family and friends face to face again?
    The upside of all of this: I finally started using the packs App ?. I got time so why not give it a try ^^

    Stay save and God bless you ❤

    • Sorted

      What an incredible job you do! Are you staying away from your family then due to your job? That must be super though if so – total respect for that. The hard thing is we don’t have an end point at the moment, if we did, then at least we would have something to look forward to.

      Great news on the packs app though! What do you think so far?

      Stay safe also!

  6. Aimee_gd

    Thanks for the great podcast. In our small village in Essex there is a trailer to comes round selling fruit and veg, which one of the farmer’s wives has set up to help the community making no profit! This allows everyone and especially elderly and vulnerable people in the village to just walk out of their door to get food. Everyone waits their turn and one person packs the food and then you pay contactless. It is so lovely! She even has a bell she rings when it comes round which is very uplifting to hear. I thought this happy event was worth sharing.
    Hope you are all well and staying safe!

    • Sorted

      That’s such a great idea – thanks for sharing with us. These little gem’s of small businesses are so precious and really mean a lot to people, especially those who are isolating alone. She sort of sounds like a healthy ice cream van with that bell letting people know that she is there – we love that!

  7. ch88

    It’s so interesting to see how everyone’s lives have changed – and that some of those changes are actually quite positive! Personally, having been in between jobs for a few months now, on the surface life hasn’t changed all that much. My fiancé now works from home and it’s been really nice to spend the extra time together. We are still trying it find a new routine, but our experience is quite similar to Jamie’s in that we now eat three meals a day together, which we both really enjoy and will make the most of while this lock-down lasts. It has affected our grocery bill but seeing as we’re not spending any money elsewhere we’re OK with this.

    I’ve been watching the live streams on Instagram and not only has it provided some much needed routine, it’s also making me be more creative with the food we already had in our cupboards, using up some things we’ve had forever but also making what we have go further so those have been a lot of fun, and it’s just nice to feel part of something, even if it’s just for half an hour a day.

    We only go to the shops once a week, at most, but because we live in the countryside, we are able to go for a walk every day and get more exercise now than we normally would! To be honest, I can almost forget about the lock-down, until I get to the supermarket. It’s the queues, the one way aisles, having tape on the floors every two meters, that remind me every week that all this stuff is actually happening, and it’s real, and sometimes, that feels quite scary. Having said that, after finding the shops out of fruit, veg, meat, rice, pasta, flour, eggs, bread and so much more just two weeks ago, at least the panic buying seems to have stopped. We were able to get almost everything on our weekly list earlier this week, which was encouraging. The empty fruit and veg aisles shocked us the most – we try not think at the massive potential for food waste…

    Most importantly though, our families are all safe and in good health, which in the end is all that matters. We’ve had to postpone our wedding, but that just gives us more to look forward to when this is all over, as well as going back out into the world to eat out, travel, meet up with family… If anything, this whole lock-down has been a great way to reflect on how good we have it, and just like you guys said, I hope there will be a change in attitude when this is all behind us. Pretty much every person alive will remember this year forever – let’s hope that, when we go back to normal, we won’t take our freedom for granted.

    In the meantime, thank you, team Sorted, for the Instagram lives, for continuing to share content and, basically, bringing a little joy to our days. It is so very much appreciated, and I’m very grateful that I stumbled on this community last year.

    Stay safe everyone!

    • Sorted

      Thanks for sharing your lockdown life with us, it’s so interesting to get a peak into other peoples worlds and how they are coping with the situation. We totally agree, lets hope that we all appreciate everything that bit more when this is over. We’re so sorry to hear about your wedding being postponed, as 3 of us are now married, we know just how much planning goes into it. You’re right though, definitely something to look forward and a huge party to see everyone again when this is over. Stay safe!

  8. nosoytonta

    Well, i can confidently say today was not a good day. Body health is ok; emotional health, not so much. Just wanted to thank you guys for being for all of us, and contribute positively up our spirits. That letter at the end (and particularly, Mike’s delivery) made me have hopes again. It is very poignant indeed, and i join in the request of getting a hold of a copy of it for future low spirit times as a ‘tiramisu’. I learned yesterday it means Pick Me Up on a quiz your instagram live.

    Talking about the grand master quizzer, Wishing him he keeps himself as healthy as ever.

    Stay safe you all.

  9. Dorothy Hickey

    Mike that letter you read out from Spain was great. Could you put up a link to it. Stay safe.

  10. ShamblesMurphy

    It’s so strange to think we are living through a major historical event that our grandchildren may write history essays on one day. An event that will definitely lead to permanent social and cultural changes, some poignant, some silly and some extraordinarily mundane.
    I really hope that 150 years from now, on one of those Buzzfeed lists it says:
    “Did you ever wonder why we gift each other toilet paper on valentines day?” or something to that effect.

    In terms of food, I can see so many people returning to ‘old’ skills, people filling their gardens with vegetables and herbs, I even taught a friend how to break down a chicken the other day because they couldn’t get the cuts they usually do. I even find myself using skills I have but rarely utilise; making stock, buying whole chickens or sides and breaking them down myself, getting to know my local butcher and figuring out what to do with cuts I’ve never used before (who knew lamb breast/belly was delicious?!), fishmonger, baker and supplier of locally made goods.

    On the flipside local restaurants and cafes and their usual staff are visibly struggling and the internal battle of wanting so badly to be able to help and buy takeaway meals and coffees from them but at the same time having to carefully mind my own budget having been laid off, due to the pandemic, myself. Seeing businesses find new and creative ways to be able to take their businesses in new directions, for example we have a gin distillery here in Brisbane that has shut down production of gin and is now making hand sanitiser!

    No one knows how long this road will be but one thing is for sure…. It’s gonna be a weird and bumpy one.

    As someone who lives alone I wanted to thank you for still releasing videos and podcasts all the time and for the instagram lives (even if they are on at 1.30am for me), it’s just nice to be able to hang out with another group of people who have been familiar to me for very nearly 10 years.

    …… that sounds like I have no actual mates…… I promise, I do.

    Look after yourselves! x

    • Sorted

      Haha we’re sure you do have mates! Isolating alone must be so tough, so we’re glad we can help you out in some small way and keep you entertained! Our ‘Lives’ are saved for 24 hours afterwards just incase you didn’t know, so you can watch them at a normal hour if required.

      Also – loving the toilet paper on Valentines day. That could actually be a thing in the future! ?

      Stay safe, and stay strong! You can do it!

  11. Annie1962

    Just had to add.. I have two teens at are they QUARANTEENS?

  12. Annie1962

    Wow Benneth hope you feel 100% soon. I can relate to that no taste with a cold. I know that when it happened to me I lost weight because it wasn’t pleasant to eat food without tasting it.

    Agreed with Mike. It’s much easier coping with the COVID situation in our type of world, which is that we all have a roof over our heads and some money – access to food water etc, albeit it less of the groceries we want Here in Perth WA there is nearly everything we need but pasta prices are up, tins of tomato are up but I have automatically always stocked up on these things so it didn’t affect me. My son works at a supermarket so a simple text has him bringing home stuff we need and when it comes to TP we are more than fine – in fact he’s bringing some home and gifting it to our neighbours.

    I found that people are being selective too. Normal UHT milk was in limited amounts but there was HEAPS of skim milk Soy milk Oat milk etc and when it came to meat there was no beef mince but HEAPS of fish and other meats. Say wha?

    We are eating MORE now than before .. HAAAAAAAAALP!! as well.. boredom sets in so I’ve heard of COVID15 which is apparently the weight in pounds that you will gain.

    If I do wish to shop, I go out at 2am with a son and we go to a 24 hour open supermarket which is HUGE and has everything but yeast and TP. There is no issue with social distancing as this supermarket is about 2 times the size of a big supermarket and hey, who goes out shopping at 2am?

    Why is TP so..important? There are other ways to clean the hiney. I’ve seen pics of people trying to return their excess TP only to be told ‘nuh uh’ you can’t do that… bad luck and poo to you for being so greedy’.

    At the supermarket they have pump bottles of Ethanol and I joked with the security man asking him if he’s getting drunk on it 😉

    A lot of peeps in Australia have been given some money from the Govt to just spend on our businesses.. so we had a Chinese food nosh up and bought some goods from local stores .. as I am not employed, we are getting double payments for 6 months which I will not save but put back into local businesses. Win Win.

    Agree Jamie – adaptation to a circumstance is quite astounding but humans are very adaptable anyway – just look at our history
    You mentioned Boris Johnson, I see he’s in intensive care with the virus. :/

    That’s all I am going to say but I’ll exit this post with two predictions
    1- Within a week of being able to resume outside living.. we will go back to what it was like before
    2- Within two weeks from now (or less) more and more people will flout the law and go out more often and break the distance laws due to being fed up with lockdown.

    Stay safe guys xx

    • Sorted

      That’s handy that your son works at a supermarket, and yes we think people are either eating more, or trying to get super fit during this time.

      We have had people try and take their toilet paper back here too – they have NO SHAME!

      Interesting predictions, let’s see if they come true.

      Stay safe and well! 🙂

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