There are lots of things wrong with our food supply, industrial agriculture poisons and renders land useless whilst at the same time leaving us to ingest the toxic herbicides that our food is sprayed and treated with. Industrial meat production grows millions of tons of food to feed livestock creating a huge strain on water supplies by growing crops that could be fed humans instead of being used to add bulk to animals The food that many eat due to lack of knowledge about healthy food and economic circumstance is woefully inadequate in terms of its nutritional content and has greatly contributed towards obesity and ill health for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. There has been a huge surge in the amount of fast food outlets that are opening across the UK, many of these food outlets offer food that is high in fat and low in nutrition.
In more recent times newer threats to our food supply seem to be emerging with great frequency due to the fact that these problems are interlinked. for example the recent failure of crops in Spain due to the effects of our changing climate. Supermarkets in the UK suffered shortages in lettuce, courgettes and Broccoli. The UK like much of Europe relies on countries like Spain to provide us with fruit and vegetables. Climate weather events are largely unpredictable and as we saw from the failure of cherry and corn crops in the US within the last decade. As climate change rolls on unchecked there can only be more disruptions and failures within our food supply chain, and of course there is no saying exactly when these weather events are likely to manifest and on what sort of scale they are likely to occur. The way that we produce our food has to change due to the current methods of production and processing being significant contributors to our changing climate.
Ongoing Austerity Policies
The seemingly relentless cuts to services, provision and wages is another important contributory factor in the war that is being waged against food and access to it, as a result of these cuts there are now well over a millions people using accessing food banks on a regular basis, and a increasing number of food bank users are actually in work but simply do not earn enough money to pay for their weekly food supplies. There are little signs that these austerity measures will stop at anytime soon, the effect of continual austerity will only see yet more people using foodbanks and other food related support networks. It is estimated that there are now well over 4 million people living in food poverty
We have already seen the price of staples rise due to the pound falling against the price of the Euro as we edge towards the UK leaving the European Union. once we actually leave Europe this will again effect the price that we are paying for our food as our currency falls against the Euro as we exit the Union.
Potential trade deals with the US
When UK prime minister Teresa May visited the US recently to meet newly elected president Donald Trump there was talk of a food trade developing between the UK and America, for us this could mean none labelled Genetically modified fruit and vegetables entering our food chain, chlorinated chickens and a load of other agricultural practices that DEFRA wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.
We can start to remove ourselves from much of the above by simply generating scaled up localized food supplies and markets, this would entail people growing food at home and the setting up of micro enterprises in the urban environment, and of course we need to change our outdated agricultural model to one which is low carbon and perennial heavy. Of course we, like other land masses on earth will be subjected to unpredictable climate weather glitches and events, but its surely better not to rely on other countries for our food supplies in the long term and to grow as much as we able to. From our end of things as a small local community growing group we will be ramping up food production this year, both at home and with the people who we work with within social housing. Our crowdfunding campaign will begin very soon where we are hoping to work with 100 families offering them growing resources and ongoing support throughout the growing season