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Agriculture & Food

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This is a copy of a letter I’ve just written to a chap who works as a “Finance Analyst – Environmental” for BP. I post it here for reference. — Hi James I promised to send you some bits and pieces about how there *is* a real alternative to the tiresomely immoral, impractical, unnecessary, well-paid yet deeply regressive job you currently find yourself lumbered with. I’m sure you’ve noticed that there’s somewhat of an environmental…

It seems this list can bring wisdom and insight to pretty much everything we do. Apart from the more specific ones (like ‘keep water high on the land’, but maybe just try to metaphor these as taoist haikus to trigger bewildering insights.) Relative Location Components placed in a system are viewed relatively, not in isolation. Functional Relationship between components. Everything is connected to everything else. Recognise functional relationships between elements. Every function is supported by…

1. It’s too expensive (and I’ve got a family to feed.) There are two separate issues here: Is it too expensive – or does your regular shop charge too much for it? Is it too expensive – or is the other food too cheap? (Or more to the point: are you just paying the extra expense in other ways?) a) Your regular shop charges too much for it. If you buy organic food in a…

You may have seen a recent report saying that going meat free one day per week saves more greenhouse gas emissions than eating a fully local diet. It seems kind of dubious, doesn’t it? You’re telling me that shipping grains and fruit half way around the world has less environmental impact than raising it locally? Well you can test this for yourself at the Landshare Foodprint calculator.

I love the Soil Association, I really do – you will rarely meet a finer bunch of sensible, noble, inspired, and passionate people than at a Soil Association conference. But boy-oh-boy has the organisation been holding them back! The Soil Association’s position and principles have been well intentioned, but the way they’ve gone about their job has been – with a few notable and excellent exceptions – from the dark ages. (Well, OK, maybe the…