I don't know why I subscribe to Spiked; I've probably said it before but their stance (all progress is good, green politics is idiotic, cheap food for all rah rah rah and stuff the consequences blah bleurgh blah) drives me quite wild with fury.
Here they are grudgingly singing the praises of the new Jimmy's Farm spin-off, gasping with surprise that he can find it in himself to praise the new technologies and processes that large scale modern farming embraces.
Not surprisingly the piece made me spit chunks of small scale produced Gouda type cheese (the photo is of a cheese made on the course I attended a month or so back).
What is all this sneering at small scale production? Would you really want to only ever eat ready meals concocted in a factory rather than one made to order at a local restaurant or in your own or a friend's kitchen? Would you refuse to wear a hand knitted cardie and only buy your woollens from Primark?
Brian says: "I don’t believe that we should all know where our food comes from or how it’s produced". What? You're happy that your sausages come from the dregs of pork that you'd never consider eating if it hadn't been made palatable by factory processing? You don't care if people or animals are exploited to keep your guts full and your body warm? It's ok if farmers get shafted left right and centre just so you can buy a £1.99 chicken or get a bogof heap of fruit and veg?
I was in awe of the robot milking machine; you can't produce one celery plant or one pint of milk and hope to keep the world fed - large scale is essential. But small scale operations produce stuff that just can't be bettered. We need both, just like we need to maintain rare breeds as well as commercial strains of livestock to ensure a healthy gene pool. Small is forever beautiful.