The Food Industry and major Supermarkets work hard to promote “cheap” convenient food while at the same time hiding intensive farming practises, poor treatment of animals and the effect on our health and the environment. I found out a few facts recently which had a big impact on me and made me research further, coming to the conclusion that we need to take more responsibility for what we eat and why now is the time to support Organic Farming.
BBC TWO screened a series called ‘New York: America’s Busiest City’ where they investigated how the City worked to clear rubbish, feed everyone and house people. It was a fascinating program giving us a glance of what has to happen ‘behind the scenes’ to make a City of this size function. One episode focused on Food and included a visit to a Beef farm where the intensively reared cattle were fed hay and grain and then fattened up for market with the addition of waste processed food like sweets, biscuits, gummy bears, and chocolate. I found this quite horrifying as it couldn’t be any more healthy for cattle than it is for us but then they are slaughtered at about 30 months – they don’t get any long-term effect whereas we might!
I know that there has been a lot of emphasis on Grass Fed beef recently but it took this program to make me realise that it was not just about feeding grain and pelleted food. There are two links to articles here….
Some cattle eat grass, some eat corn and others have more of a sweet tooth they satisfy by chowing down on … into the same materials it would the starch in the corn they are fed.” It is not just candy, either. “Cattle are well equipped to utilize … via Feeding Your Cattle’s Sweet Tooth with Alternative Feeds Like Candy Can Help Improve Bottomlines
chocolate, fruit loops and a whole list of candies. Fattening up the cattle thanks to a large percentage of sugar content and no real nutritional value, the disease-riddled cattle end up fetching a larger price for farm owners. The fruit loops-fed cattle … via Cattle Now Being Fed Cookies and Candies Instead of Real Food
Public Domain from pixabay
This article explains how the diet drastically changes the fat content in beef to being more anti-inflammatory Omega -3 fats in grass fed beef and containing more unhealthy Omega-6 fats when fed on junk food.
Grass-fed beef is certainly more expensive, but is it better for you? If so, just how much better? via Grass-Fed Beef: Is It Worth The Extra Money? – BuiltLean
Then with Trade agreements like TTIP in the news we hear of chickens being washed in chlorine after slaughter because they were reared in such confined, overcrowded, dirty conditions that they had to clean them up prior to packaging. We hear about huge multinational companies controlling seed purchases that relies on their toxic chemicals to get high yield, of more GMO crops entering our food chain.
Therefore, if we care about our health and the health of our farming we need to be more aware of the source of our food and what it has been contaminated with.
Should we also be annoyed when we are deliberately lied to or mislead by the Food Industry or Supermarkets? Tesco, Lidl and Aldi have all been guilty of this by labeling foods to have come from various ‘Farms’ with English sounding names that are not real Farms at all. In the case of Tesco’s the ‘Farm’ labels replaced the cheap ‘Everyday Value’ labels that were previously often ignored due to people thinking they must be poorer quality.
It is time to start prioritising our values over price so that we can have an impact on animal welfare, the nutritional quality of the food we produce and the impact on our environment. UK farming produces about 62% of the food we eat. Therefore 38% probably travels to us from anywhere in the rest of the world at great cost. At the present time we still waste a tremendous amount of food but that is now being highlighted and addressed by the Supermarkets and by organisations like FareShare who have 20 regional centres across the UK and are able to redistribute food to the people who need it most www.fareshare.org.uk
Why now is the time to support Organic farming-especially in the UK
At present we pay £6bn a year into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) but our farmers only get about £3bn back and so are effectively subsidising their competitors. Once we leave the EU we need that money to be distributed fairly and proportionate to the value of the produce not the quantity. We also need to pay a fair price. A litre of milk costs the Farmer about 30p to produce so why do Supermarkets only want to pay them about 23p? Retail organic food producers are doing very good business by connecting with their local communities both here and in the USA and giving us superior produce with much less packaging or plastic!
This month I have added to my Free Range Meat delivery with local organic food, vegetables and eggs, ordered a weekly organic veg box and bought seeds ready to grow beans, beets, chard and herbs in pots in the Spring. It has only cost me a small percentage more but we have been eating really well and everything is tasty and lasts longer.
Another good link below from Compassion in World Farming.
Food and Human Health; Food Sense; Food sense 20/03/2012. … Philip Lymbery, CEO, Compassion in World Farming. Share this page. Tags. food; intensive agriculture; via Food Sense | Compassion in World Farming