food politics

Food and Politics


A look at a possible connection between geopolitics and food trade.


cook (2) swot give
little piece advice
make sure make sure
swot up politics international
before choose recipe (2)
because affect ingredients
available see (2) whenever
row (3) another country (2)
often end to end up
slap (2) ban fall out with
fall import for example
government suddenly declare
wine rich (2) poor (2)
quality refuse any
more less any more
result loss economy
cheese cheesed off over (2)
price trade link
presto rather dodge
dodgy early late
latest feud dairy products
suspend again cite
concern smell (2) geopolitics
here after all
after all next host (2)
summit aim (2) forge
close tie closer ties
tradition sphere traditionally
influence mad sphere of influence
by the way chief (2) sanitation
inspector official seem
announce claim nothing
simple simply nothing to do
protect health citizen
now should temporary
normal back (2) shelf/shelves
personally hope everybody
if happen dinner
could bit (2) problem


Video: Food and Politics




Now if you like cooking and you’re in Russia, let me give you a little piece of advice: make sure you swot up on international politics before you choose your recipe, because that could affect the ingredients that are available to you.

You see whenever Russia has a political row with another country, it often ends up with Moscow slapping a ban on food imports with a country she’s fallen out with.

For example, when the Russian government fell out with the Georgian government a few years ago, Russia suddenly declared that Georgian wine and Georgian mineral water were of poor quality and refused to import anymore; and that resulted in big losses for the Georgian economy.

Then Russia got cheesed off with Ukraine. It was a row over gas prices, over trade links — and presto: Ukrainian cheese was declared rather dodgy, and banned.

And the latest food-feud is over dairy products from Lithuania. This week Moscow suspended imports, again citing concerns over quality.

But the Lithuanians smelled geopolitics here. After all, next month Lithuania hosts a EU summit aimed at forging closer ties with countries traditionally in Russia’s sphere of influence, like Ukraine and Georgia. Now that’s a recipe that will make Moscow mad.

By the way, this is the man with the bans: Genady Anishenko, Chief sanitary inspector. He’s the official that seems to announce the suspensions. And he claims they have nothing to do with politics, that it’s simply to protect the health of Russian citizens.

Now I should say that these suspensions are normally temporary: Georgian wine and Ukrainian cheese are back on the shelves here.

Personally I hope Russia doesn’t fall out with everybody. Because if that happens, dinner could be a bit of a problem.


1. The main idea or theme of this video is Russian cooking. True or false?

2. What often happens with the Russian government has a row (argument, dispute) with another country?

3. What happened with Georgia?

4. Do you think something was wrong with the quality and safety of Georgian wine? Did the ban effect Georgia’s economy? Was this bad for the economy of Georgia?

5. Something similar happened with Ukraine. Yes or no?

6. Why did Moscow suspend dairy products from Ukraine? Did Russia suspend Lithuanian cheese because of molds?

7. Who is Genady Anishenko? Does he say, “We are suspending imports because we have political problems with Georgia (or Ukraine, or Lithuania)?

8. The suspensions or bans are permanent. Is this correct or wrong? Why are the bans temporary?

9. Russia has a brisk international trade in foodstuff. True or false?

10. Name ten things and some activities from the video.
A. Do you like to cook?

B. My country imports and exports lots of foodstuff. Yes or no? If yes, give examples.

C. What are some foreign foods in your city?

D. Does your country have political disagreements with other countries?

Share Button

Email this page

Comments are closed.