It was a book that got me into this mess. Almost twenty years ago after reading Annie Hawes excellent, Extra Virgin, I jumped on a flight intent on experiencing Liguria for myself. What I discovered here has had me coming back for holidays ever since. Until two years ago, that is, when I bowed the inevitable British compulsion to own property.
The Tree Conference at the Merlin Theatre in Frome in October was an inspirational, sell-out event which showcased effective strategies for citizen-led reforestation and for halting deforestation worldwide.
Congress is currently working on the 2018 farm bill, a massive piece of legislation enacted about every five years. One of its key elements is crop insurance, which helps protect farmer income in times of volatile production – for example, when crops are damaged by droughts or floods.
Drinking coffee makes many of us feel good, so it makes sense that we would want to feel good about how it is produced. When it comes to sustainable coffee, the most important choice is how the coffee has been cultivated, and its impact on the ecosystems where it is grown. But you may not realise that how you prepare your coffee at home can add 50% or more to its overall environmental footprint.
An early lesson I learned when I began foraging was this: there is a difference between “you can eat it” and “you should eat it”. Depending on your tolerance for bitterness, hairiness, or astringency, there are some wild foods that…
As a young commis chef I was confident in my attitude to meat. Cheerfully elbow-deep in minced lambs’ hearts and livers, or distractedly picking fish scales from my eyebrows after a session of cleaning mackerel, I knew where these soft,…
Cocoa is probably the most sustainable of all internationally traded commodities, so there are several “feelgood” reasons for eating the chocolate made from it this Easter – at least when the cocoa is grown by smallholder producers and traded by processors that are committed to equitable sharing of profits.
Here are some ways to tell if you are onto a good thing.
Our collective overuse and misuse of antibiotics is accelerating resistance to these universal drugs, leaving people increasingly vulnerable to infections that can no longer be treated. This applies not only to the use of antibiotics in human medicine, but also in animal industries. Antibiotic resistance is an example of a collective action problem. These are problems where what is individually rational leads to a collectively undesirable outcome.
Access to food and water — once considered common goods and a basic human right — are increasingly treated as commodities, like precious metals or lumber. Instead of being necessities for life that are available to all, they are being kept from people who cannot afford them.
The perils of this commodification are rife — and sometimes tragically untold — yet several stories have survived.
If you’re one of the millions of people concerned about the growing pressures that our food habits are placing on the environment, then you’ve probably felt confused, conflicted or downright overwhelmed by your own food choices on more than a few occasions.
In the drive for change, it’s vital for consumers to use their purchasing power as discerningly as they can. But with profit-making still at the top of the food industry agenda – and the environmental costs of many food products hidden by complex supply chains – we need more than consumer power alone to achieve a truly sustainable food system.