It’s not as if we planned to get this lost.
In Britain, during WW2 the nation collectively, dug up this green and pleasant land and planted crops to feed us. We needed to feed ourselves and become less reliant on global imports; and we Succeeded. Of course much of the applause should go to the beautifully fertitle, rich soil that lay beneath the grass and pasture.
Generations of animals like sheep and cows had fed on this pasture and in the process had naturally fertilised it over time.
Fast forward to the 1960’s and 1970’s and we had a so-called “green revolution.” Clever plant breeders had developed high-yield wheat and rice strains with short stems and cute names like “Hobbit.” These new varieties promised to end world hunger. Or at least for the countries who could afford to pay.
All over the planet, this green revolution kept grain plentiful and cheap. So cheap it began to be fed to animals. Of course it was dependent on the constant spraying of chemical nitrates into the soil.
This trend has led to the bio-technology companies promising us a new green revolution. It’s GM or Genetically Modified crops that will provide a solution to global food shortages. This terrifying path we’re on, has already lead to starvation in many Third World Countries such as India. Farmers were provided with these “wonder” high-yield seeds, which were reliant on chemical sprays and lots of water. Their original seeds could handle drought conditions reasonably well, the “new and improved” version simply dropped dead! Result, disaster on a Nestle scale!
This wonderful company sent reps into Third World Countries in the 1980’s, dressed in white coats, to promote the use of their wonderful baby formula over breast-milk. Of course by the time the teams flew off with their profits and the mothers realised that without clean water the formula was poison, their milk had dried up and babies were dying. (See www.babymilkaction.org)
Our new mass produced industrial style farming is moving us towards catastrophe on a global scale.
This farming method robs our everyday food of the health-protecting nutrients we need. It’s also insidiously damaging our farmland, to such an extent that we’ll be incapable of feeding future generations. And of course it adds to our climate change worries. In the UK our green and pleasant land is now responsible for 18% of our CO2 emissions!
There is an answer. We need to go back to go forward. It will make our food healthier for everyone and our land more fertile and rich. It will also help our dwindling wildlife.
Without pesticides and chemical fertilizers this system won’t feed the giant bio-tech companies. Most of the profits would actually stay in the countryside. We might even be able to ease up on importing the cheap, nutritionally inferior grains that are starving our farming communities out of existence.
We need to use our sheep and cattle to fertilize our fields and pastures. Stop locking them into barns and feeding them with cheap, chemically laden grains and tons of antbiotics; because infections are rife when animals are penned together. We need to grow more grasses and help our earth to recover. Grass is something we’ve always grown well in this country, and pasture could very well save us.
The alternative is to keep getting further and further away from a natural lifestyle, and natural healthy local food. To be dependent on a global market, as far from sustainability and self-sufficency as it’s possible to be.
Factory farming, producing cheap nasty food and too much of it; is making us a nation of over-weight, greedy and unhealthy people. Time to travel back to the fork in the road and head down the more natural and self-sustaining route. The price of our present road is just way too high.