July 25, 2022

Woolworths’ new “Food for Thought” podcast tackles tough questions in the food industry


Thaakiera Ackerdien

Woolworth’s new podcast aims to take a look at the “big, small and unexpected” stories of the retail and food industry

On 4 July 2022 Woolworths released the pilot episode of their podcast “Food for thought” hosted by broadcast journalist Redi Tlhabi. The podcast aims to “evoke curiosity about the food landscape, as well as to help South Africans understand what they are consuming and why it’s important; by discussing, debating, demystifying and debunking food and its culture.” 

The first episode tackles the tough issue of plastic packaging in retail and recycling in South Africa. A fitting subject for the pilot episode as the company has made it their mission to have zero packaging waste in landfills, and to have all of their packagings be recyclable, by this year. This initiative is probably most recognizable by the fact that the majority of Woolworths outlets have already swapped out their plastic bags for reusable ones to encourage buyers to bring their own bags instead of constantly buying and wasting plastic ones. 

The episode follows Tlhabi’s journey into the world of plastic recyclability as she faces tough issues such as food wastage, the necessity of plastic food packaging and the science behind it, and why all foods cannot just have their plastic packaging swapped out for paper.

Tlhabi holds conversations with a variety of local experts in the industry to offer their insights on the link between packaging and the 10 million tonnes of food sent to waste in South Africa every year. In the episode, she shares with us her thoughts on her shocking discoveries and takes a look at the science behind the way we package our food and its link to a product’s shelf-life. 

“I am delighted to present the Food for Thought podcast. Food is such an integral part of our lives and understanding how it is produced and managed will help us make informed decisions that are in harmony with our planet,” says Tlhabi.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Youtube and Apple Podcasts with a new episode expected to be released soon.