READING University is at the forefront of a great debate over the spiralling cost of food.

The university has joined forces with the organisers of the annual Reading Town Meal to stage a Question Time-style debate about whether we pay too much, or too little, for our food.

People will be able to put their questions to a four-strong panel of experts at the event and quiz them about the fairness of food prices to buyers and farmers.

The debate will take place ahead of the return of the Reading Town Meal - an annual food festival boasting competitions, live music and stalls which will see 1,000 diners descend on Forbury Gardens.

Dr Alison Bailey from the university’s School of Agriculture, Policy and Development said: “We hope to raise key issues that already form a big part of our research into agriculture and the economics of food systems, both in the UK and globally. Increasingly we have got used to relatively cheap food in this country, but at what cost? It is understandable that some people on low-incomes feel they can’t afford to eat well - especially in the current economic climate.”

The debate will take place at 7pm on Wednesday, October 2, at the university’s Great Hall, on its London Road campus. Places are free but limited - to reserve one visit

Meanwhile the Reading Town Meal runs from noon-5pm on Saturday, October 5. Entry is free.