In the last 100 years we have seen amazing changes in the food industry. We can now go to a big shop and get everything we need, and as a percentage of our income, food is cheap. But what are the consequences? Should we make changes, and how? First, here are some pretty crazy facts.
We live in a country where we have 1,000+ varieties of apple, yet two thirds of the apples consumed are imported
Farmers only get an average of 9p in every £1 spent on food in a supermarket.
Many children do not know where their food comes from, are obese and only eat salty ready meals.
There has been a 50 per cent increase in diabetes in the UK in the last five years.
Milk is cheaper than water in some shops and the number of UK dairy farmers has halved in the last 10 years
Some people are happy to pay 75p for a ready made baked potato when they could put a fresh one in the oven for 5p
Non-organic food is subsidised by the taxpayer making organic food much more expensive
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.
30% of road freight is food related.
The same percentage of food is wasted including 190,000 granny Smith apples per year.
40% of the worlds grain production is fed to animals and if trends continue could feed half the estimated worlds population by 2050.
GM crops are growing all over the world and promoted by profit focused corporates.
If these trends continue what is the world going to look like. Will kids only eat ready meals and the majority of any fruit and veg consumed be imported? Will all our milk and meat come from vast factory farms? How long before someone makes a mistake transferring the wrong gene in to a food crop?
If the above is not scary enough perhaps we need another food scare to encourage change.
Change away from a commodity food chain to a local supply chain, where local producers are reconnected with consumers to trade and communicate.
Where food is produced, consumed and enjoyed with the seasons. (Excess apples are juiced or made in to cider). Farmers get a better price, are encouraged to grow more food crops and employ local people. Kids find out about food and encouraged to grow, and trade, their own. And there is no need for engineered crops owned by profit focused corporates.
So we, the masses, need to take action and change. Not hard change but easy change. To buying local, where food is fresher and often, cheaper, without retailer and middle men margins.
An easy change in attitude, to enjoy cooking fresh ingredients, with the whole family, instead of Mum having the ‘chore’ of cooking for fusspots. To growing and trading our own and joining in with community food events, like the Jubilee, big lunch, apple day, etc.
BigBarn is here to help and please tell your friends. To read more about building a local food industry by click here