Monday, 16 June 2008

What will we be eating in 2009?

Last week the PM announced "a new approach to food policy that eliminates controls on production and restrictions on trade, and encourages a greater focus on improving agricultural production and productivity".
This week, the petrol stations in the South West have restricted each car to £10 of fuel.
I've been wondering what all this might mean for the food we eat in the near future.
Will there be a huge increase in grow your own? Will people populate window boxes with lettuces, growbags with tomatoes and rip up their concrete slabbed front gardens to sow rows of veg and plant fruit trees? Will allotments boom, will guerilla gardening emerge on every urban patch of scrub? Will public parks departments plant cabbages, artichokes and cavolo nero instead of inedible exotic statement plants? Will there be mass sowing of spuds to keep whole streets self sufficient in carbs? Every ex-battery hen could be re-homed as backyard egg producers, each village and suburb could partner local farmers by adopting cows, pigs and sheep that will travel oil-free yards between farm and freezer.
Will farmers finally get a fair price for their produce, lead the bargaining with supermarkets from a position of strength, form cooperatives and increase their opportunities for selling direct?
On the other hand, an elimination on control could mean the end of animal welfare responsibilities, an abundance of GM crops and use of terminator seeds, a chemical explosion and a return to unwanted surpluses.
I wait to see what details will be announced. Meanwhile, I'm weeding my veg patch and increasing my flock of ducks, planning runs for guinea fowl, and as soon as the barns are finished, cows are on the shopping list. There's always a surplus for friends too.


paula said...

Food for thought - indeed! The imagination’s run as wild as those enterprising guerilla gardeners. I'm drawing up adoption papers for cows and sheep and mugging up on 'rushes for fuel' ...

mountainear said...

I was going to say 'food for thought' too...

Community /village gardens or orchards might be a good start. (Didn't we call them allotments before they were built over?)