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About us

Welcome to Debate Your Plate. An all foodie site, dedicated to stirring things up.

We’ve got lots of exciting projects in the pipeline and this site will be evolving – so sign up to our newsletter to make sure you’re one of the first to know.

But first up, we thought we’d introduce ourselves…

Susan Tomlinson

SusanI love to cook. I love to eat even more.

And as a mum, cooking for my kids, I really started thinking about the food I was making and where it had come from. When I had the responsibility of feeding others, the personal very quickly became political.

I discovered that unless I chose carefully, I could easily dedicate my whole eating life (and those of my family’s) to lining the pockets of just 13 multinational food corporations.

The turnover profits of one of these companies has a larger than the GDP of Indonesia, the fourth largest country in the world.  I want to stop these big guns from calling the shots in our food chain.

But as well as all those big concerns, like most of us, I like to celebrate. And celebrations usually mean food. I like nothing better than a family feast, a bbq with mates or a picnic with the kids. That’s why Debate Your Plate covers everything about food. Because there’s very little about food that doesn’t touch a part of our lives.

As for all the other malarkey…I’ve worked in telly for years, creating a wide variety of factual programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 before specialising in food, working with the well-known UK chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I’ve written books, and contributed stories to a wide variety of publications, from the Daily Mirror to Grazia magazine and the environmental magazine Good.

Liz in a lobster carLiz Scarff

I work as a multimedia journalist producing films, writing, photographs and social media/digital content.

I’ve driven 4,000 miles across the Sahara Desert in a Lada for the BBC: spent two months on the highest mountain in the world running the media campaign for Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Everest Challenge for Marie Curie Cancer Care: travelled up the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan for BBC Top Gear and taken to the high-seas with Greenpeace for The Independent.

Most recently I devised and implemented an innovative digital project, #Blogladesh, for Save the Children. The project, which took ‘mummy bloggers’ to meet mums in Bangladesh and then to a United Nations summit in NYC generated a 10 million reach on Twitter, thousands of hits in the blogosphere, 75 million reach in national media and two meetings with Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister.

My work has been published in over 14 countries for media organisations that include BBC, ITN, Channel 4, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Observer, Evening Standard, Independent, ELLE, Marie Claire, Glamour, Geographical, among many others.

I put my hands up to being a bit of a geek – I love the way technology can help us tell stories. And what really gets my goat is the fact that a handful of companies control and manipulate our foodchain and as a result the lives of millions of people around the world.

But that is why we’ve created Debate Your Plate to bring you stories from the frontline of food – from a food crisis in Niger, Africa to mayonnaise separating in a kitchen in Kent, to seasonal food and fab recipes, great kitchen gadgets – and everything in-between.

Edit 2012: After a brilliant two years Liz Scarff left Debate Your Plate at the beginning of 2012 to pursue other projects. www.lizscarff.co.uk


Follow Liz on Twitter

The Debate Your Plate Network (These are the people who have helped us out along the way…)

CharlieCharlie Waterhouse

Charlie is our resident communications man. And when he’s not being the sounding board for all things Debate Your Plate, he’s running his own ad agency called: This Ain’t Rock n’ Roll.

Dave CarterDave Carter

Dave is an artist and film-maker. His film work has been shown on the BBC, ITN, CBS and The Telegraph among others.

His artwork has been commissioned by the Henry Moore Foundation.

Dave grew up on a farm in Hampshire, is a bit of a wild food expert and has lived as a freegan for a feature for The Independent newspaper. But he’s most proud of winning the Shetland Pony Grand National several times over.

Tor Bridges

TorTor is film-maker extraordinaire. From shooting Mayan Indians in Guatamala to setting up film shoots for Martin Scorcese, she has worked throughout the film and television industry for years. Check out her company website, Lotus Films.

Karen Lobban

karen-lobbanAustralian born Karen has lived in London for the past 8 years, working for some of the UK’s top broadcasters, most recently as a live news director for 24 hour rolling news and sports channels. After vowing never to watch another Premier League football match, she has spent the past 18 months self producing, shooting and editing videos on anything from music festivals and art performances to charities and showreels. Her aim for 2011 is to explore the wonderful world of street food around the world and the people who sell it, taste testing as much as possible along the way.