21 Jul 11 Future of food: Meet the farmers and scientists who could save our fragile global food system
The era of cheap produce is over. So what next? Journalist, Robin Barton meets some of the farmers, producers and scientists with the future of food in their hands.
We live in the era of the £1.25 loaf of white sliced bread and the £250 000 bluefin tuna. It’s a time when the source of our food, the cost of it, and its effect on our wellbeing and our world occupies us like never before.
Across the Atlantic – the home of industrial-scale farms, childhood obesity and all-powerful corporations – the future of food has long exercised bestselling writers such as Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan and their forefather, Wendell Berry. Over here, too, we stand at a crossroads while scientists and economists, farmers and retailers plot a course forward.
The globalised food industry, far from being robust, is exceedingly fragile. Every family will have noticed recent increases in the price of food. Those same price rises have occurred elsewhere and were one of the sparks of the Arab Spring revolutions. Accusatory fingers are pointed at speculators, oil prices and crops for biofuels. But one fact often overlooked is that the world produces more than enough food to feed itself. Indeed, it wastes a billion tonnes annually.
“The case for urgent action in the global food system is now compelling,” wrote Sir John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific adviser, in his foreword to January’s Global Food and Farming Futures report, citing the billion who go hungry and the billion over-consuming…..
The Independent: Read more
[This article has a British slant but it is nontheless a compelling read for anyone concerned about the future of food. It features an interview with SA’s own Jody Scheckter (pictured), who on his organic farm, Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire, is using science to better understand nature. Ed]