Britain's Diet in Data

As part of my day job as Digital Production Editor at the Open Data Institute I think a lot about data and how as a raw material it can be used to tell stories and convey meaning. Below is an example of a data visualisation I commissioned, working with a wonderful London based data visualisation and digital journalism studio called Kiln.

Open data sandwich

You can explore the visualisation below, or visit the micro-site here and read the official blog post from the ODI here.

The British diet has undergone a transformation in the last half-century. Traditional staples such as eggs, potatoes and butter have gradually given way to more exotic or convenient foods such as aubergines, olive oil and stir-fry packs.

Explore the changes across four decades and hundreds of food and drink categories in this interactive visualisation, featuring data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Defra has just released almost 30 years of food diaries filled out by British families between the 1970s and 2000 as open data. This is part of #OpenDefra, and 2016: Year of Great British Food.

Online and in the media

Washington Post - The slow death of the most British thing there is

Mail Online - How Britain fell out of love with bread, sugar, meat and eggs

Flowing Data - Change in the British diet, since 1974

Indy 100 - How Britain’s diet has changed over the past 40 years


All foodstuffs are measured in grams and all liquids in milliliters.