There are two sides to the food industry. There are the industrial food producers who only care about profits and nothing about nutrition. Then there are the people who are passionate about their products who put many hours in and make a bit of money.
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I don't think the UK has been self-sufficient in food since the industrial revolution. Today there are far too many people in the UK for the UK to be self-sufficient in food. Even after the UK joined the EEC the UK continued to import beef from Argentina , lamb and butter from NZ, it was not always labelled as such. Mislabelling is rife in the food industry. Anyway what is wrong with trade?
I am not aware of any nutritional problems with palm oil. It is seed oils to be avoided at all costs.
Abergavenny still has two butchers shops and a part time one in the market. There is a greengrocer stall outside the Pound shop. People just buy meat, fruit and vegetables from supermarkets for reasons of convenience.
Farmers' markets are increasingly popular in the UK , Australia and I am told in America.
The UK will never be self sufficient in food production while the population is dependent on meat production for a meat diet.
Almost all British grain production goes into animal and fowl feed. The UK imports almost all of its human food grain from overseas.
Its ludicrous that we are intensively farming fish for the food chain while vacuuming millions of tons of fish out the ocean and converting it to animal feed and fertiliser.
Supermarkets ship vegetables and fruit from places like China Chile Kenya Peru Mexico Belarus Poland South Africa etc etc that can easily be grown here but its cheaper and offers them greater profit to ship it thousands of miles than pay domestic UK producers.
The UK has made itself dangerously vulnerable to biosecurity threats,contamination and food chain shortages because the food supply chain is based on cheapest market supplier and forced domestic producers out of business.
When this was flagged up as a major concern and the stranglehold supermarkets had on the food chain,one Tony Bliar pledged to investigate and sort them out.He then famously buried the investigation and stated he didn't care where the UKs food came from so long as it was affordable and acceptable quality.
The country as a whole will have to sort its own food supply issues in its own time but sooner or later it will be presented with a major emergency in the supply chain and its going to have to act to make itself less vulnerable.
Not everyone gives a shit about their food so long as its cheap,thats the trouble. Those of us who do care have to find ways of being less dependent on the normal supermarket dominated food chain and finding alternative sources or growing or harvesting our own.
If the human race intends to survive it needs to stop eating animals. Its just not a sustainable method of food production not to mention the ethics of eating them.
Producers need come up with more realistic vegetable based meat substitutes that make eating real meat unnecessary and seem to be coming up with the right goods.
We also needs to do more urban vertical gardening, hydroponics and indoor /polytunnel production.
Hydroponics is an ancient farming technique being used in old warehouses to provide fresh msrket produce and small scale farmers are already using rooftops to grow food in Johannesburg. France wants building rooftops to be cultivated and theres already successful vertical gardens around the world. Humans need to be innovative or die.
I agree far to many acres of good quality agricultural land is being turned over to housing that nobody except govt/pension funds etc can afford to have built. More houses = more people= less land so less food production. Fuck me, a blind man can see its not sustainable!
Love the ideas of vertical gardening & cultivating public areas etc, great way to feed people & also use otherwise "dead" space.
Maybe a system could work whereby a man could live on an acre of land, authorities allow this on condition the man grows a certain amount of veg/fruit for the use of other people. Could be a way forward maybe, but can't ever see the short sighted leaders going for it....
I dont have a lot of empathy with modern farmers to be honest.The majority of larger farmers and agri holdings are just land rapers and subsidy scroungers. Theyll cease to get EU subsidies- which would be a good thing long overdue -but this Government will ensure its landowning mates continue to get the rich payouts theyre used to while hogging millions of acres of land they being paid not to farm.
Rather than paying farmers to keep land unused or diversify id rather see the land get rented out for community allotment schemes, hobby farmers or smallholding use and for rural sustainable eco housing development such as the LAMMAS project.
Non of that will happen though. The Torys are set on the clearances again,clearing out lucrative city centre property for themselves and to gentrify rural areas and turn them into rural idylls, museum countryside to enhance their own property values and enjoyment.
We seriously need land reform in this country.
Considering most farms in the UK are owned by massive business interests such as insurance companies, drug companies and the Mormon Church I'm not sure how much say farmers actually have. The farm next door to me used to belong to the CoOp, but now it has been sold off to The Wellcome Trust.
Yep...five of the large adjoining farms here all belong to a holding company owned by an Indonesian businessman.