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PaulS's picture

UK needs an agricultural revolution

Another article catching up with the Transition message:
Fruit and veg boom needed to feed Britain

The Guardian, 16 Nov 2008

In the face of climate change, food experts call for more home-grown fruit and less grain for cattle.

It is an image worthy of a Keats poem or a Constable landscape: great orchards bursting with fruit, fields crammed with ripening vegetables and hillsides covered with sheep and cattle. But this is no dream of long-gone rural glories. It is a vision of the kind of countryside that Britain may need if it is to survive the impact of climate change and higher oil prices, according to leading agricultural experts.

They have warned that only a total revolution in the nation's food industry can save Britain from serious shortages of staples as world oil production peaks, the climate continues to heat up, the population grows and our dietary needs continue to evolve. In turn that means a complete shake-up in the way we farm the countryside. At present Britain imports more than 90 per cent of the fruit it consumes.

'We face some awesome changes in the way we deal with food production,' said Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, London. 'For the past century we have relied on oil to produce more and more food for ourselves - mainly through the use of petroleum products to make cheap fertilisers.' The problem is that oil is becoming more and more expensive and is also linked to dangerous emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

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