Posts Tagged ‘Agriculture’

I thought I might write about a BBC series which finished today, The Fisherman’s Apprentice with Monty Halls. It’s been a pretty thoughtful look at various issues within the fishing industry. I don’t think it went far enough in critiquing government policy and I feel that Hall’s idea to save sustainable fishing (Community Supported Fisheries) is the kind of consumer-led, niche idea that can’t really hope to revolutionise the whole industry. But, overall, it has been pretty good TV.

However, I couldn’t watch all of the last episode tonight as it had been rescheduled to make way for a brand new series, Our Food, in which “Giles Coren looks at how food is grown across the UK”.

I had seen the trailers for the series and had expected a well-photographed, rose-tinted view of agriculture, perhaps with some naive assertions about how people should really think about buying more organic and local food.

However, I was shocked at the content of this programme. It seemed to act as a cheerleader for industrialised agriculture and thus showed uncritical support for many of the things which are wrong with the way food is produced in Britain. (more…)


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It was appropriate that Charlie Brooker used food in his 10 O’Clock Live analogies about the potential effects of the NHS reform bill.

To start with he compared the (financial) choice between an anaesthetic crafted by Heston Blumenthal and the NHS Value version – a can of lager and a stick to bite down on.

He then had a moan over how there was already too much choice in life, and gave the example of around 20 different variations of weetabix, when all he wanted to do was eat some breakfast.

While the second joke was just amusing, the first was both funny and thought-provoking.


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A change is needed

As rice prices continue to surge, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have been calling for a summit to discuss the crisis in the world food situation.

Groups such as Canada’s National Farming Union (NFU) are commenting that it is becoming clear that the whole fabric of food production needs to change. Darrin Qualman, NFU’s research director, was interviewed by Inter Press Service (IPS):

“The food production system is designed to generate profits, not produce food or nutrition for people,” Qualman told IPS.

He says there are enormous amounts of food stored in central Canada’s farming heartland, but thousands of people there, including some farm families, are forced to rely on food banks. (more…)

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