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Food security

(30 Posts)
growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 04:58:20

This article raises a number of issues about food security, which is relevant because it touches on a number of issues - trade, climate and sustainability, employment, cost of living, etc.

www.thegrocer.co.uk/sourcing/how-can-the-uk-be-more-self-sufficient-in-food/653103.article

It's best to read the whole article, which raises a number of questions,

eg.

Are we prepared to accept gene editing?
Are we prepared to modify our diet eg by eating locusts?
Are we prepared to pay more for our food?

Allsorts Thu 30-Sep-21 05:21:43

Definite no to insects and locusts. I will become a veggie and grow my own.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 30-Sep-21 07:55:45

I need to understand GE much more to be able to talk with any knowledge, however I do have some questions.

If plants are bred to resist insect etc, will this further reduce biodiversity in a country that is one of the least biodiverse in the world?

I would see this as a disaster for our bird population to name just one.

The second question. Is GE being used to “hide” poor farming methods and land management.

This takes me back again to my first question about biodiversity.

This is an untried technology. How confident are we that it will not have a detrimental affect on all sorts of aspects?

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:00:25

I honestly don't know Whitewave.

I can see some advantages, but I'm sure there are also some cons. Unfortunately, it's being confused with GM and the argument gets confused by a lot of hysteria.

Think I'll put it on my bucket list to find out more.

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:01:58

PS. Your questions are partly why I started the thread. It would be good to have a sensible discussion based on facts.

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:04:30

I've just signed up for this FutureLearn course:

www.futurelearn.com/courses/future-food/5/steps/963453

PS. It's free.

maddyone Thu 30-Sep-21 08:13:40

Good post Whitewave.
I definitely won't be eating insects/locusts.

MaizieD Thu 30-Sep-21 08:16:31

Think I'll put it on my bucket list to find out more.

I searched for it yesterday after seeing the thread about it on the Food forum but I mostly got articles and papers about GM. (Mind you, I was also searching on the wrong term...). I did get a link from a twitter person who was up in arms about the idea of gene edited crops being allowed in the UK. Weirdly she said it was hard to find any research on it. I resisted the urge to ask her why she was so anti if she hadn't read any research...

I suspect that allowing GE is another ruse to try to ensure that we can never rejoin the EU.

As it is impossible for us to be self sufficient in food it looks otherwise like a pointless step...:-)

Josianne Thu 30-Sep-21 08:21:29

Some scary facts in that interesting article, but also balanced with innovative ideas for the future.
I'm not sure I can add much to a fact finding discussion here, but two things struck me.
The apparent lack of interest in food per se of most British consumers .... its provenance, its sustainability, its growing conditions, its production, its farmers, even its taste etc. All we seem to care about is its cheapness and that needs to change.
Also it is unbelievable that only 2.5% of food advertising goes on fruit & veg while 45% goes towards HFSS foods. If we want to educate those consumers mentioned above we need educate them properly, not just on the effects of a healthy diet but on the enjoyment of the food on their plates. Start talking about tastes and flavours, the mixing of ingredients, alternatives, cooking techniques, the enhancement of adding spices etc.
And however old fashioned this sounds, pass down the skills from grandmother to child.

Josianne Thu 30-Sep-21 08:22:50

maddyone

Good post Whitewave.
I definitely won't be eating insects/locusts.

Think of it like eating a bag of crisps! Crunchy, with a touch of salt!

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:24:57

It would be stupid to think that the UK can ever be self-sufficient on food. As the article says, we have a good climate for some crops, but it's impossible and/or inefficient for us to grow others.

It certainly would be to the advantage of the world if GE could produce more efficient crops which don't harm the environment any more than current growing does. I was interested in the idea of developing crops which fix nitrogen in the soil in the same way beans do.

Lincslass Thu 30-Sep-21 08:27:07

growstuff

I've just signed up for this FutureLearn course:

www.futurelearn.com/courses/future-food/5/steps/963453

PS. It's free.

I will give this a look, thanks. Have done few Future Learn courses, this one is very relevant .

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:27:40

Josianne

maddyone

Good post Whitewave.
I definitely won't be eating insects/locusts.

Think of it like eating a bag of crisps! Crunchy, with a touch of salt!

Mmmm! Yummy!

Slimey but satisfying ...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSerlz47srg

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:30:50

Josianne I've commented before about GN having posts about "Baking with grandchildren" etc, but not about preparing tasty, healthy meals.

Why don't we have "Great British Salad Making?"hmm

Lincslass Thu 30-Sep-21 08:33:00

No insects for me either, on seeing them being cooked and eaten on funny enough, Escape to the Country. I think a lot of our problems stem from children not being taught about food and nutrition in schools anymore, to concentrate on solely academic subjects was a miss step that hundreds are paying for, in the rates of obesity and no knowledge of how to make the most simple of meals. This is passed on to children ad infinitum.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 30-Sep-21 08:33:12

Oh yes I’ve been thinking about doing another one ( it’s finding the time😄😄)

I might join you.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 30-Sep-21 08:37:38

That was about the future learn course.

Talking about locusts and various edible insects.

I love prawns and shrimps and always think of them as the insects of the sea.

So I suspect that in the absence of meat or to help the climate etc I would eat insects.

Josianne Thu 30-Sep-21 08:43:46

Lincslass

No insects for me either, on seeing them being cooked and eaten on funny enough, Escape to the Country. I think a lot of our problems stem from children not being taught about food and nutrition in schools anymore, to concentrate on solely academic subjects was a miss step that hundreds are paying for, in the rates of obesity and no knowledge of how to make the most simple of meals. This is passed on to children ad infinitum.

Exactly. Kids need to experiment with food themselves from an early age and learn so much more about it.
I would even take it back to baby led weaning.

Josianne Thu 30-Sep-21 08:46:16

growstuff

Josianne

maddyone

Good post Whitewave.
I definitely won't be eating insects/locusts.

Think of it like eating a bag of crisps! Crunchy, with a touch of salt!

Mmmm! Yummy!

Slimey but satisfying ...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSerlz47srg

No growstuff not slimey. You fry them up with butter or oven bake them and sprinkle with chocolate powder. Believe me, our son did it with crickets and they weren't too bad.

Early Thu 30-Sep-21 08:46:20

Interesting and thought-provoking article growstuff. Thanks for the link. And good response Josianne. Much I already knew but those advertising percentages are alarming. 45% of HFSS - food that is high in fat, salt or sugar content.

It seems to me, the fundamental problem is one of consumers demanding an all-year-round supply of foods which can only be grown and reared in Britain in season and for foods which simply can’t be grown here at all.

To quote two pieces from the article:

In the case of meat, things get trickier. First, there is the issue of carcase balance. The British preference for certain cuts means less popular options such as offal are exported, while more popular cuts need to be imported.

In the case of fruit & veg there is currently little chance to export.

I’d far rather consumers not science take control of this. Eat seasonally what we can and do produce rather than genetically-modify beyond what is necessary for weather and disease resistance.

I accept that's a simplistic view but it would be starting point.

Josianne Thu 30-Sep-21 08:49:12

Before I get arrested, our son had leopard geckos whose daily diet was a box of crickets. One box had accidentally dried out and the insects were dead before he cooked them. Well that's what he told me anyway!

Whitewavemark2 Thu 30-Sep-21 08:49:15

I assume if we went down the GE route that will completely scupper our biggest and nearest export market - essential for fresh produce I would have thought.

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:50:23

Sorry to say this, but neither my mother nor grandmother were good cooks. They used far too much salt and sugar and veg were always overcooked. I didn't ever learn about cooking at school either. Nevertheless, I've learnt how to cook healthily (for me), cheaply and with almost no waste. I think maybe TV cookery programmes could play their part.

growstuff Thu 30-Sep-21 08:52:32

Did you try them yourself Josianne?

Josianne Thu 30-Sep-21 08:53:06

I accept that's a simplistic view but it would be starting point.
Sometimes simplicity is best Early. It doesnt have to be devoid of passion on a topic like food. Think of all the senses we could appeal to, yes just with different salads.

Anyone tried a dog biscuit ever? I can recommend the best ones for humans there too.