Monday, 31 August 2009

Costing the Earth.

Although it's not why I set this blog up I'm going to have a go about the crisis in Kenya, we are downloading a program called The Future Of Food, Kenya produces a high percentage of food for EU super markets, french beans for instance, which can easily be produced in Europe these are grow in Kenya, flown over to UK super markets and sold for 1 pound for 350 grams, in plastic of course, these damn supermarkets will not accept anything except the perfect bean, IE it must be straight and heaven forbid that it should have any sign of soil on it, anything which is not perfect is destroyed whilst the people of Kenya starve, it's not just the supplying half way across the world, these crops need water to grow, so deeper wells have to be bored which means that the indigenous people no longer have access to water either to grow their own crops or to drink. It's time that subsidies for exporting food were stopped, the money doesn't go to the growers, it goes to the governments and makes their balance of payments look good and enables them to repay their loans to the world bank.
Also we dont need food out of season although the supermarkets have convinces everyone that they do. People complain that food doesn't taste the same as it used to, of course not,
A it's been flown halfway across the world and
B it's picked unripe, so has no chance to acquire the flavour from the sun,
and C it's kept in cold storage, often gassified to keep it fresh!
I think that all young people should unite and set up communes to grow their own food, ten families buy 100 acres of land, each works ten acres, rotating their crops, and hey presto, you have no food bills, people can still work at their jobs but have a good lifestyle to come home to [ the houses would be self build of course from local materials] beside knowing where your food has come from, you have exercise as well, so are far healthier. That is my Utopia and that of the late John Seymour, however people nowadays want it all and want it now, they dont care where it's come from, or that it's costing the Earth! They seem to forget that we are tenants of this planet, we don't own it, and it's the only one we have.


Ian said...

The situation in Kenya and many other poor countries is indeed awful. If supermarkets are right that the EU consumers need straight beans, consistent sized fruit etc they could possibly improve their image by ensuring that rejected food is rejected before it is transported and goes back into the local markets to feed those in need. Your communal farming idea sounds like a good plan. I would also like to see the allotment idea taking off again - during the dig for victory years many small scale gardens and allotments were producing a significant proportion of family food and acting as social hubs too. I am surprised at how little variation there is in food grown out in galicia although families do get together and do the planting harvesting etc many seem to mostly grow a patch of maize, cabbages and potatoes and some beans. Our approach to growing a little of everything is seen as "intensive multiculture" - enterprising and a little amusing. Sprouts in particular get a giggle although I occasionally see the seeds in local cooperativas no one seems to recognise the plants.

Renovation in Galicia said...

There had been EU regulation regarding the curve on bananas and cucumbers, however this is no longer the case and it is now allowed for grade two fruit and veg to be sold. The original restrictions were introduced as a result of the very strong supermarket lobby.
The grading of fruit according to colour is the supermarkets dictate, and the grading equipment is all computerised so that all tomatoes etc are within the same shade. It looks better on the supermarket shelves!