A few years ago the British diet seemed to be improving. Admittedly, people were buying fewer green vegetables, continuing a long-term trend driven by declining appetite for cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. But they were more or less making up for that by eating more salad leaves and fruit. They were purchasing more healthy fish and less fat. The average Briton bought 170 grams of fish per week in 2006—the most since at least 1974. Sales of organic food (believed to be healthier, despite the lack of evidence) were soaring.
Aren’t critics of genetically engineered food anti-science?
More than 100,000 visitors took part in this year's Open Farm Sunday event, according to initial figures from the organisers, Linking Environment and Farming. A LEAF spokeswoman said "We were overwhelmed by the number of people. We had queues for tractor rides and queues of people wanting to sit in the combine cab. It was brilliant though, the public really wanted to know more about how we farm these days.”
According to new research we are, on average 3st heavier than we were in the 60's. And not because we're eating more or exercising less - we just unwittingly became sugar addicts!
To find out why and to read the full story, click here.
In another initiative, an international collaboration has pledged to restore 18 million hectares of wooded landscapes. Eduardo Rojas-Briales, assisant director-general for Forestry at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said "forests and trees on farms are a direct source of food, energy and income for more than a billion of the world's poorest people. At the same time, forests trap carbon and mitigate climate change, maintain water and soil health, and prevent desertification."
They might spread it on toast every morning - but if you asked 16-23 year olds where butter comes from, many don't have a clue. And when it comes to the humble bacon sandwich, a third are unaware its meaty filling comes from a pig - with three per cent believing cows produce it. A third are also ignorant of where we get out milk and did not know that eggs come from chickens. Fifteen per cent think they came from a crop, a Linking Environment and Farming report says.
Hedgehogs aren't just cute, they're also valuable pest controllers, but in the UK they're not exactly thriving: in the last decade, numbers have dropped 25% and are at an all time low. You could try pinning the blame of farmers - changes in farming practise haven't exactly helped the hedgehogs' cause - but before you do, bear in mind that most hedgehogs live in suburban areas. It's much more likely to be developments in domestic gardening methods that have caused numbers to tumble. So how do we persuade them into our gardens?
When the economy began its steep decline in 2008, almost everything related to houseing hit the skids, but one sector escaped the pinch: food gardening! If fact, while many households starts growing food to be more budget-conscious, some are deciding that vegetables and fruits can be beautiful too. In the extreme, edible landscaping or 'foodscaping' can even mean replacing grass with something edible!
There's nothing the British love more than a good cup of tea. And as the Diamond Jubilee bunting is packed away, an organic tea blender is celebrating a special anniversary of its own. Pukka, a Hindi word for ‘top quality’, eschews chemicals and pesticides, its packaging is made from sustainable wood and printed using vegetable inks. ‘We
Genetic modification was supposed to be the ground-breaking science of the future. Its magic wand would feed the world and make toxic pesticides redundant.
But, in reality, it has dismally failed to live up to the expectations of its cheerleaders.
Latest reasons to love organic:
- becky, its worth paying for!
- alexander, sustainability
- jenny, lack of chemicals and health reasons!
- Lauren Manning, Because it's better for you.
- ellie ashcroft, knowing where your food has come from!
- Cassy, Way forward for our planet
- chris gardner, its pure and simple!
- Jeremy Food, my wife insists on buying local and organic. also, we have an allotment.
- robyn james, less chemicals in my food!
- rebecca freeman, more natural