One of our customers said to me yesterday that he feels that providing a home for his family and good food to eat are his two priorities and that everything after that i.e. flash cars, big holidays, smart gadgets etc., are purely a bonus! I happen to think he is quite possibly right and that we have become far to complacent about a ready supply of cheap mass produced food, generally trying to save money on food to fund other parts of our lives. The problem is that ‘cheap’ food, particularly dairy and meat, come with a raft of health, environmental and sustainability issues.
Organic food, by definition is considerably more sustainable, but this does come at an increased cost, some would argue the true cost of food, which leads on to the argument that we should eat better quality, sustainable meat less often. Certainly our world is getting smaller and food, particularly cereals and protein crops are being traded and shipped around the world for animal feed, biofuels and as commodities. Mass produced meat relies entirely on this global trading, largely with the US, South America, Australia and eastern Europe.
Clearly poultry and egg production tend to be classic examples of this mass production and global trading. Somewhat frighteningly we find ourselves in the same boat, albeit a smaller, more robust and environmentally acceptable boat. We regularly get updates from our feed supplier, a large poultry specialist feed mill in Hampshire and the last few have had similar messages ….. ‘Supply and demand problems with Ukranian sourced organic materials is vexing the organic supply chain which will take much of the next six months to resolve, and during that time feed prices will rise significantly in the interim’ …. Oh joy! How we would love to be self sufficient grow all our feed or persuade neighbouring growers. New organic regulations are pushing for a significant proportion of organic animal feed to be produced ‘locally’. The initial definition of ‘local’ is looking like being Europe! Though hopefully this will be the starting point and the circles will gradually tighten.
Anyway, back to the ‘We are what we eat’ we would thoroughly recommend giving the following a watch, typically shows the UK in a lot of ways we are way behind other European countries….. very thought provoking video clip!
Love to know what you think!