Learning Vocabulary: Food and the environment
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich talk about food and the environment. They have a short quiz to help you learn different adjectives to describe food and in our roleplay, Jack invites Rich for dinner. Jack is cooking something different; do you think Rich will like it? The language focus is on phrases we use at the dinner table and language connected to the environment. Your task this week is to give your opinion about eating meat and the effect it has on the environment. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess, too. Enjoy!
Food & the Environment
Rich: They look tasty, can I have one?
Jack: Have you never tried them?
Rich: No, what are they?
Jack: Have you never tried this delightful Turkish treat? Yum, they’re really good.
Rich: Come on, hand one over.
Jack: Here you go then.
Rich: Oh yeah, they are good. Really sweet, sugar on the outside and really soft like jelly in the middle. Where did you get them?
Jack: A friend brought them back from Turkey. They’re called Turkish Delight or Lokum in Turkey.
Rich: Ahh, yes of course. They are really good.
Jack: I said I’d take them to share at the match tomorrow but I think they’ll have gone by then. Do you want another?
Rich: Go on then.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to talk about food and words we use to describe different types of food.
Jack: We’re also going to teach you some phrases to use at the dinner table.
Rich: What like ‘That’s disgusting! I’m not eating that!’ That’s what my son says when I give him anything with vegetables in it.
Jack: I think we’ll look at some phrases that are a bit more polite than that. These phrases will be useful for English learners and rude 8-year olds, too!
Rich: I’ll make sure he listens. And, we’re also going to talk about the environment, where our food comes from and some of the language we use to speak about that topic.
Jack: That’s a lot to get through and don’t forget we also have a new football phrase for you to guess at the end of the podcast.
Rich: In the next section, we’re going to start with a quiz. You have to guess the five foods I describe and when we finish we’ll take a look at some of the vocabulary we used to describe the food.
Jack: Food number one.
Rich: What soft sweet fruit is favoured by monkeys?
Jack: Food number two.
Rich: What spicy Spanish snack is a bit like chips and ketchup?
Jack: Food number three.
Rich:: What delectable Danish delicacy is actually from Austria?
Jack: Food number four.
Rich: What moreish Mexican morsels do you dip in a sauce and crunch?
Jack: Food number five.
Rich: What hearty Hungarian stew will fill you up on a cold winter’s night?
Language Focus 1
Jack: Let’s start this section by looking at some of the adjectives we used to describe these five foods and some other adjectives to describe food.
Rich: And, this might help you guess the answers which you can write at the bottom of the page in the comments section.
Jack: Let’s start by looking at the words that describe how a food feels or it’s consistency.
Rich: I said the first food was soft. It means it changes shape easily when you press it. It’s the opposite of hard.
Jack: Fruit like strawberries, raspberries and bananas can be described as soft whilst apples are hard and crunchy.
Rich: We said you can crunch the Mexican food in the quiz. Things like apples and crisps are crunchy.
Jack: Going back to soft and hard. So, you can get soft and hard fruit, you can get soft and hard cheese but we don’t say hard and soft meat.
Rich: That’s true. We use the words tender and tough. Tender is used for meat that is soft and usually good whilst tough meat is difficult to cut and chew. It might be chewy.
Jack: Chewy is another good adjective. It describes a food that you have to chew a lot before you can swallow it such as a lot of children’s sweets, chewing gum and of course tough meat.
Rich: Let’s move on to food number two. I described a spicy Spanish snack. I love spicy food. Spicy food is food with lots of spices in it such as curry or pepper.
Jack: We also sometimes say hot to mean spicy. A waiter might say ‘be careful it’s hot’ and you could reply ‘spicy hot or hot hot?’ which can be a bit confusing!
Rich: The opposite of spicy or hot is mild but we often use negative adjectives to describe something that is not spicy. Words such as bland, tasteless, flavourless or dull are often used.
Jack: Let’s look at some of the other adjectives we used. I love the word moreish. You said moreish Mexican morsels. If something is moreish you want to eat more and it’s difficult to stop once you start.
Rich: I like the adjective hearty. I said heart Hungarian stew. Food or a meal is hearty when there is a lot of it and it leaves you satisfied. I think it describes the type of food I like.
Jack: Finally, let’s look at some adjectives we use when we think a food is good. The most common words to use are tasty or delicious but there are others too.
Rich: I used the word delectable which isn’t very common but is the same as delicious. Other similar adjectives to use are appetizing, mouth-watering and yummy! That last one is what children usually say when you tell them it’s cake for dessert!
Jack: In this next section, we’re going to do a roleplay. I’ve been having some cooking lessons and learning to cook some new dishes from around the world.
Rich: And Jack has invited me to dinner. I think he wants to test his cooking skills on me before he cooks for anyone important.
Jack: Listen out for the polite phrases we use at the dinner table. We’ll speak about these after the roleplay.
Rich: And listen out for any adjectives about food, too.
Jack: Hey, Rich. You made it. Thanks for coming.
Rich: No, worries. You know me, I’d travel miles for a free lunch!
Jack: Come in. We were just about to sit down. Can I get your coat?
Rich: Thanks. Here I brought this.
Jack: Oh thanks. You needn’t have brought anything.
Rich: What do you think he’s cooking? Shh .. here he comes.
Jack: Here comes the first course. Voila!
Rich: It smells good. Fishy?
Jack: It’s seafood surprise! You see food and you eat it! Haha! Only joking. Well, only half joking. It’s seafood soup. All locally sourced. Careful, it might be a bit hot.
Rich: Very important these days. Let’s have a taste then. Mmm. It’s really good. Delicious.
Jack: Lots of vegetables and stock, mussels, clams and a few prawns.
Rich: You said first course? It’s really filling. I think I’m full up already. I love mussels though.
Jack: Someone told me the other day that mussels are the most environmentally friendly meat that you can eat.
Rich: What do you mean?
Jack: They have a really small carbon footprint. It means you can farm lots and lots of them and it doesn’t have a big effect on the environment and climate change and things like that.
Rich: Ah, yeah OK.
Jack: Beef and lamb have huge carbon footprints and are not environmentally friendly because they produce lots of greenhouse gases.
Rich: Yeah, those cows and all that gas! It stinks! Haha!
Jack: I’m not joking. I read that cows produce more greenhouse gases than cars! Have you finished?
Rich: It was great, thanks.
Jack: Can I take your plate?
Rich: Pff! I don’t know maybe we’ll all be eating insects soon ...
Jack: Hey everyone, sorry for the delay. Here’s the main course. The piece de resistance!
Rich: Tempura! I love tempura. And what’s this sauce on the side.
Jack: It’s a spicy sauce. It will add a little kick to what you’re eating. A little goes a long way.
Rich: Could you pass me some of that sauce, please?
Jack: Sure. Are you going to go first, Rich?
Rich: OK, let’s dip a bit of this tempura in the sauce. Right, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Not too chewy. It’s really good, Jack. Well done.
Rich: They’re not vegetables though. What are they? Shrimps?
Rich: Cricket? I don’t play it. Just football, you know that.
Jack: No, they’re crickets. You know like little grasshoppers.
Rich: Oh, really? Wow!
Jack: You can get them in the supermarket now. We’re all going to be eating them soon.
Rich: If you’re not vegetarian or vegan …
Jack: They’re really healthy. Low in calories and high in protein. Much better for you than beef for example.
Jack: And, good for the environment too. They’re a totally sustainable food source. We can produce billions of crickets and other insects without harming the climate.
Rich: Well, they were quite good actually.
Jack: Would you like some more?
Rich: Err.. Oh, err… They were delicious but I don’t think I could manage any more. I’m stuffed.
Language Focus 2
Jack: In the roleplay, Jack invited Rich to dinner. We used some common phrases that are used at dinner invitations.
Rich: For example, when I arrived Jack said thanks for coming.
Jack: And Rich had brought a small gift. Depending on the situation when you have been invited to dinner it’s common to give the host a small present; maybe a bottle of something, some flowers or chocolates depending on the person.
Rich: Jack then said; ‘you needn’t have brought anything’, which means it wasn’t necessary to bring a gift. This is also a common phrase and is often not 100% true. Many hosts actually might think it was rude if you didn’t bring anything!
Jack: You should compliment the cook or the hosts cooking. Saying things like: ‘looks or smells good’ when a dish arrives is a good idea.
Rich: Add then, of course, complimenting the food when you taste it. Saying things like ‘It’s delicious’ is a good idea here.
Jack: The host will probably ask you to eat more so you need to be polite and say when you don’t want any more. Phrases such as: ‘that was really filling’, ‘I’m full, thank you’, or ‘I couldn’t manage anything more’ are useful to use.
Rich: It’s considered rude to reach across the table at dinner so phrases such as ‘Could you pass me the salt or sauce’ are really useful, too.
Jack: You might need to leave the table so another useful phrase is ‘Could you excuse me for a moment ‘ if you need to go to the bathroom or make an urgent call as it’s also usually rude to use your phone at the table.
Rich: We’ll look at a few more phrases we use at the dinner table on the podcast page on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: In the roleplay, we spoke about eating food that is sustainable or environmentally friendly. This is becoming a common topic these days.
Rich: Lots of people are choosing to eat less meat for environmental reasons or choosing to eat different types of meat.
Jack: This week we’ve got three different topics for you to discuss this theme. Write your opinions in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Rich: Topic one: Eating meat. Do you eat meat? What meats do you eat? Have you ever chosen not to eat a specific meat?
Jack: Topic two. The environment and meat. Do you think we should eat less meat? Should we eat less meat such as lamb and beef that causes damage to our environment? Should we start eating more sustainable meats such as mussels and insects? Should we eat more plant-based food or become vegetarian or vegan?
Rich: Topic three: The future of meat. Have you ever eaten crickets or other insects? Would you try them? Do you think this type of food will become more popular in the future?
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, our last football phrase. The phrase was ball watching. This phrase means to not concentrate at set-pieces such as free-kicks and corners and look at the ball rather than the player you are supposed to be marking.
Rich: It was a difficult phrase last week and only Liubomyr from Ukraine got it right so a very special well done to you! What’s this week’s phrase, Jack?
Jack: This week’s football phrase is to ***** ********** ** *** *****. It’s a phrase that means to give your all and to try your best. It means to give 100% and you have nothing left at the end of the match.
Rich: Another tricky one. Let’s see who can get it. Right, that’s all we have time for this week. Don’t forget to write your answers to the task and football phrase in the comments section below.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
Come on, hand one over.
Mussels are the most environmentally friendly meat that you can eat.
They have a really small carbon footprint.
It’s a spicy sauce. It will add a little kick to what you’re eating. A little goes a long way.
There were a few more tricky words and phrases in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words. This can really help your understanding.
Adjectives to describe food
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich spoke a lot about food and introduced a lot of adjectives we use to describe food. We're going to focus on three types of description: the way food feels (its consistency), the way food tastes and the adjectives we use to say if food is good or bad.
Foods can be described as being soft or hard, but we have specific words to describe meat that is soft or hard. Look at these example sentences from the podcast:
Fruit like strawberries, raspberries and bananas can be described as soft whilst apples are hard and crunchy.
Tender is used for meat that is soft and usually good whilst tough meat is difficult to cut and chew. It might be chewy.
There are lots of words to describe the taste of different foods. A lemon is sour and a cake is sweet. In the podcast, Jack and Rich focussed on the word spicy. Do you know what it means? Take a look at these sentences that were used in the podcast:
Spicy food is food with lots of spices in it such as curry or pepper.
A waiter might say ‘be careful it’s hot’ and you could reply ‘spicy hot or hot hot?’ which can be a bit confusing!
The opposite of spicy or hot is mild, but we often use negative adjectives to describe something that is not spicy. Words such as bland, tasteless, flavourless or dull are often used.
To say the food is good or bad:
The most common words to say something tastes good are 'delicious' and 'tasty' whilst the most common to use when something tastes bad is 'disgusting', but there are others. Take a look at these sentences that were used in the podcast:
What delectable Danish delicacy is actually from Austria?
What moreish Mexican morsels do you dip in a sauce and crunch?
Other similar adjectives to use are appetizing, mouth-watering and yummy! That last one is what children usually say when you tell them it’s cake for dessert.
Phrases we use at the dinner table
In the roleplay, Rich and Jack used some common phrases we use when we are invited to dinner and when we are at the dinner table with guests. Look at these sentences from the podcast. Do you understand the words in bold?
Hey, Rich. You made it. Thanks for coming.
Oh thanks. You needn’t have brought anything.
It’s really filling. I think I’m full up already.
Could you pass me some of that sauce, please?
They were delicious but I don’t think I could manage any more. I’m stuffed.
Phrases about the environment
In the roleplay, Rich and Jack also spoke about the environment. Look at these sentences from the podcast. Do you understand the words in bold?
It’s seafood soup. All locally sourced. Careful, it might be a bit hot.
Mussels have a really small carbon footprint.
I read that cows produce more greenhouse gases than cars!
Crickets are a totally sustainable food source.
Food & the environment
This week’s task is to give your opinion about eating meat and it's impact on the environment. Give your opinion about one or more of the topics below:
Topic 1: Eating meat
Do you eat meat? What meats do you eat? Have you ever chosen not to eat a specific meat?
Topic 2: The environment and meat
Do you think we should eat less meat? Should we eat less meat such as lamb and beef that causes damage to our environment? Should we start eating more sustainable meats such as mussels and insects? Should we eat more plant-based food or become vegetarian or vegan?
Topic 3: The future of meat
Have you ever eaten crickets or other insects? Would you try them? Do you think this type of food will become more popular in the future? Have you ever heard of lab-grown meat? Do you think it will catch on?
Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at our football phrase.