Sliced Bread

BBC Radio 4

The series that investigates the latest ad-hyped products and trending fads promising to make us healthier, happier and greener. Are they really 'the best thing since sliced bread'? Science presenter Greg Foot finds out.Greg speaks to experts on a bunk-busting mission to test the latest consumer trends chosen by listeners. Do they live up to the hype? Or are they just marketing BS?Greg chats to the experts, dives into the data, performs tests and crunches the numbers before putting his findings back to the listener so they can decide if it's worth spending their hard earned money on.If you have a suggestion for a product to investigate, you can email the team on [email protected] or send a WhatsApp voice note via the number 07543 306807.Sliced Bread is produced by BBC Audio North for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.

  • 1 minute 30 seconds
    Introducing Dough

    Dough is a new series from BBC Radio 4 which looks at the business behind profitable, everyday products and considers how they might evolve in the future.

    In each episode, entrepreneur Sam White, futurist Tom Cheesewright and a host of technology experts take on a popular product, look at where the smart money's going now and then try to predict what that could mean for all of us in the years ahead.

    The series starts on BBC Radio 4 and will be available in the Sliced Bread feed on BBC Sounds weekly from Thursday, 18 July 2024.

    15 July 2024, 11:25 am
  • 25 minutes 3 seconds
    DNA Ancestry Tests

    Listener Chris from Suffolk recently took a DNA ancestry test, and after getting some interesting results back, he wondered how accurate they really were?

    Greg Foot finds out by taking two tests himself – and has the results and his family tree revealed to him by DNA Genealogist from Finding Families, Louise Baldock.

    He also speaks to Professor of Genetics at Leicester University Mark Jobling to find out what these companies are looking for, what they can or can’t determine from our DNA in terms of where we came from, and asks the question – is sharing our DNA with these companies safe?

    All of the ideas for our investigations come from you, our listeners, and we’re always on the lookout for more. If you have seen a wonder product that claims to make you happier, healthier or greener, and want to know if it is SB or BS, then please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voice note on WhatsApp to 07543 306807.

    PRESENTER: Greg Foot

    PRODUCER: Kate Holdsworth

    11 July 2024, 5:00 am
  • 32 minutes 25 seconds
    Ear Plugs (recorded live at Hay Festival)

    Are the latest ear plugs better for gigs, focus and sleep?

    In this special edition of Sliced Bread, recorded at the Hay Festival in South Wales, Greg Foot investigates the newer style of ear plugs. He's joined by listener Marni who's seen adverts for brands like Loop, which promise to protect your hearing at higher volumes while still allowing you to enjoy music at gigs. Other models in their range claim to give you better focus, shutting out extraneous noise but still allowing you to hear conversation. Or, in the case of their 'Quiet' model, sleep better.

    As ever Greg's joined by two experts to deep-dive into the science and find out if the evidence backs up the marketing claims. And with the help of a special dummy head fitted with microphones, they carry out a series of tests to hear the difference between traditional foam ear plugs and the newer models.

    If you have seen a wonder product that claims to make you happier, healthier or greener and want to know if it is SB or BS then please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: Greg Foot PRODUCERS: Kate Holdsworth and Simon Hoban

    4 July 2024, 5:00 am
  • 28 minutes 18 seconds
    Cholesterol Lowering Products

    Can fortified drinks and spreads really reduce cholesterol?

    Almost half of UK adults have raised cholesterol, according to the charity Heart UK - and Sliced Bread listener Cathy is one of them. She found out after taking a test at her GP and wants to do something about it. Her first plan of action is to make changes to her lifestyle, such as diet and exercise. As part of that, Cathy wants to know if the spreads and drinks that claim to lower cholesterol really do work.

    Greg Foot is joined by Cathy and a panel of experts at our studios in Salford to investigate. What are the ingredients that are proven to lower cholesterol? How effective are they compared to widely-prescribed statins - and are the supermarket own brand versions of these drinks and spreads just as good as branded ones?

    All of the ideas for our investigations come from you, our listeners, and we're always on the lookout for more. If you have seen a wonder product that claims to make you happier, healthier or greener and want to know if it is SB or BS then please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: Greg Foot PRODUCER: Simon Hoban

    27 June 2024, 5:00 am
  • 24 minutes 13 seconds
    Acupressure Mats

    This episode has been edited since broadcast. Twelve year old Bradley got in touch with Sliced Bread after trying out his mum Jennifer’s acupressure mat. Jennifer says she swears by it, it relaxes her, and she even falls asleep on it! But after testing it out himself, he was less than convinced.

    He asked us to find out what these mats are meant to do, whether they work or if they’re a placebo effect, and whether paying more for one could mean better results? Joining Greg in the studio to discuss them, is Clinical Acupuncturist Phil Trubshaw from the Manchester Movement Unit based at Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as the Director of Research at the Northern College of Acupuncture, Dr. Karen Charlesworth.

    Have you seen a product that claims to make you happier, healthier or greener? Want to know if it is SB or BS? Then please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807.

    PRESENTER: Greg Foot

    PRODUCER: Kate Holdsworth

    20 June 2024, 5:00 am
  • 30 minutes 48 seconds
    Pest Control

    What's the best - and most humane - way to get rid of pests?

    For some of us Tom and Jerry might be the sum total of our knowledge of the struggle between domestic life and unwanted rodents. But for listeners Colin and Mary, things are getting much more real! Colin wants to know if the plug-in devices he's seen that promise to deter rats and mice using ultrasonic actually work. Mary has caught mice and then released them back into the wild in nearby woodland, believing it's the more humane way to deal with the problem. But is it?

    With the help of Natalie Bungay from the British Pest Control Association and Rob Young, Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Salford, Greg Foot sets out to find the answers, hoping to nibble at the metaphorical cheese without getting caught in the figurative trap (or something).

    All of the ideas for our investigations come from you, our listeners, and we're always on the lookout for more. If you have seen a wonder product that claims to make you happier, healthier or greener and want to know if it is SB or BS then please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: GREG FOOT PRODUCER: SIMON HOBAN

    13 June 2024, 5:00 am
  • 29 minutes 33 seconds
    Contact Lenses

    Listener Jennifer is considering switching contact lenses, if there's an alternative that's more eco friendly. She's not alone - we've had lots of questions about eyecare options, and whether the fancy features some lenses offer are worth the extra cash. Joining Greg and Jennifer in the studio to talk all things contact lens are Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, a clinical adviser to the College of Optometrists, and Sarah Smith - a research optometrist who's studied the environmental impact of these tiny pieces of plastic.

    Have you seen a product that claims to make you happier, healthier or greener? Want to know if it is SB or BS? Then please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: Greg Foot PRODUCER: Tom Moseley

    6 June 2024, 5:00 am
  • 30 minutes 39 seconds
    Car Tyres

    Is it worth paying more for premium car tyres?

    There's a huge range of car tyres to choose from and the price differences between them can be significant. So do you really need to pay more to get a good tyre?

    Listener Ian runs a car maintenance business and wants to know if the budget tyres he's been fitting are the right choice. Will they last as long and be just as safe? What do the different ratings on the labels you can see online mean? And as he moves towards electric cars he's also keen to know whether they need a special sort of tyre.

    With the help of two experts in the field, Greg Foot 'treads' through the studies and the science to find out more. It's how he rolls (we'll stop now).

    As ever we are still looking for your suggestions of products to look into. If you've seen something promising to make you happier, healthier or greener and want to know if it is SB or BS please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: GREG FOOT PRODUCER: SIMON HOBAN

    30 May 2024, 8:41 am
  • 26 minutes 34 seconds
    Sustainable Period Products

    Lots of different types of period products claim to be eco friendly, from menstrual cups to period pants and reusable pads. But how do their environmental credentials stack up? That's what listener Sam wants to know - and she's not the only one asking about not just the impact of these so called sustainable period products on planetary health, but also on women's health too. Joining Sam and Greg for this one are Natalie Fee, founder of the non profit City to Sea, who campaigns for "plastic-free periods", and Dr Nicola Tempest, a senior lecturer in gynaecology at Liverpool University.

    And if you've seen something promising to make you happier, healthier or greener and want to know if it is SB or BS please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: GREG FOOT PRODUCER: TOM MOSELEY

    23 May 2024, 5:00 am
  • 26 minutes 59 seconds
    Air Fresheners

    The UK market for air care products is expected to grow to £674 million this year - and for this episode, we're investigating just how these products tackle bad smells in our homes. Can air fresheners really "eliminate" stinky odours with science, or do they just smell nicer? And what does using them do for our air quality? That's what listener Conor from Manchester wants to know. He joins Greg in the studio, alongside two experts - Nicola Carslaw, a professor in indoor air chemistry‘ at the University of York, and emeritus professor of chemo-reception at the University of Manchester, Krishna Persaud.

    Have you seen something promising to make you happier, healthier or greener? Want to know if it's SB or BS? Please let us know - you can email [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807.

    PRESENTER: GREG FOOT PRODUCER: TOM MOSELEY

    16 May 2024, 5:00 am
  • 29 minutes 18 seconds
    LED Face Masks

    Is an LED face mask the secret to brighter, clearer, more youthful skin?

    Greg Foot is back with a new series of Sliced Bread to run a whole new batch of your suggested wonder products through the evidence mill. From car tyres to contact lenses, air fresheners to LED face masks, Greg will separate science fact from marketing fiction as he investigates whether each product is 'the best thing since sliced bread' or 'marketing BS'.

    There's a slightly new sound to this new series: having recorded most of the previous episodes remotely, Greg is going to be joined in the studio by the listener and experts to investigate the wonder products together!

    First to join Greg is Helen Leneghan from County Down. She’s seen LED Face Masks all over social media and wants to know if they actually work. Do they reduce your wrinkles? Will they give you a radiant glow? And can they help with some skin conditions like acne or rosacea?

    As ever, if YOU have seen something promising to make you happier, healthier or greener and want to know if it is SB or BS please do send it over on email to [email protected] or drop us a message or voicenote on Whatsapp to 07543 306807

    PRESENTER: Greg Foot PRODUCER: Simon Hoban

    9 May 2024, 5:00 am
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