Monday, 10 August 2009

Food security..........what can I do?

There's a huge amount of interest right now about the food security of the UK, with the publication today of DEFRA's paper on the subject; Farming Today on Radio 4 had an article this morning, as did the Today programme. This from the Independent for a quick overview:

I've been doing a lot of reading and listening on the subject, and find it sad that things have been let get into such a state before action is being considered; whether this consideration will actually translate into proper and useful action remains to be seen.

I await further developments with interest, but something needs to be done, has needed doing for a *long* time and needs to be done fast. Why wouldn't they listen to those who knew/know, over the past 20 or os years? A lot of problems could have been prevented or addressed back then or in the intervening years. Common sense and a sense of urgency and importance seem to have all flown out of the window together..........
So - what am I going to do about it? Well, mainly carry on as I have been. Now, I'm no saint, but it's always been important to us as a family to buy British and local to me ever since I first had my own house. We grow what we can at home, and supplement it with bought in foods; yes, I buy bananas, lemons, tea and coffee, etc, but for vegetables, always in season and British, almost without fail, and as local as possible. Fruit is more problematical, especially apples in the summer, but I do buy them, but try to make an informed choice.
The era of cheap food is over, in money terms; the era of cheap food in terms of the environmental damage caused by global markets, air freighting and importing should have been over many moons ago, but wasn't. However, it is being tackled now, and I shall watch with interest. I suspect there will be many bandwagons about to be jumped on, and much rubbish spouted on the net, so selective reading will be the order of the day as usual!In the meantime, my money will remain firmly where my mouth is literally, and I'll continue to support British farmers and producers and back them to the hilt.

It is all tied up with climate change, global warming, droughts and the current environmental crises; hopefully it can start to be tackled with tied up thinking. If people make more of a connection between food and the environment , *their* environment and realise that the whole planet depends on co-dependence, then we might just get somewhere. The food security issues are just as frightening to me as the peak oil and climate change ones - not just here in the UK, but for every country.
I'd like to be part of this solution and not part of the problem.

By the way, the picture above is of an apple OH picked form our Deonshire Quarrenden tree in the garden - seems our apple crop has its own seal of app(le)proval LOL


Carolemc said...

Sarah, I couldn't agree more. I heard the piece on Farming Today, and thought "at last!!" This message really needs to be put across to everyone. Really it could be an opportunity for progress if we learn from countries like Cuba.

Like you I'm trying to do my little bit....and will be keeping everything crossed that the powers that be have got the message at last!!

The Squirrel Family said...

The Mud sweat and tractors series was a bit of an eye opener for me

farmers going to the wall as a result of subsidising supermarkets is shocking news

I agree that cheap food should end in principle(as it has been artificially kept low creating a false impression) but worry about people on a really limited funds

I also believe that the powers that be are worried ......have you seen the amount of grow your own programmes on tv and the bbc dig in scheme reminds me of the dig for victory campaign in some ways but a bit more subversive (can you tell i am a conspiracy

The reality is a lot of the skills on the farming and home fronts have been lost which is why blogs like yours and forums like CL have been so useful in helping a beginner like me learn new skills

Thank you Sarah


MelMel said...

Its such a many things being done to our food too, such as chemicals given to cattle, to improve meat production...its getting very worrying!

Your right about ppl on limited budgets, some ppl here are entitled to veg vouchers, to meet the 5 a day need, however, it does not solve the problem of cheap fruit and veg....and the issues that surround it...I'm now expert, but it does alarm me.....another reason to begin to grow what we need? At least veg wise!

I really found your post interesting anf thought provoking!xxx