Our food system is a complex one. It has developed in leaps and bounds over the centuries. There are certain things that we should know about our supply of food though. 1) In the UK 71% of our land is arable, food producing, of livestock, fruit, vegetable and grain. That total food production only supplies 60% of our food. The other 40% we import. 2) The worlds most fertile pieces of land, usually alongside rivers, have produced exesses in wealth in ancient times and as a result more people have moved to or survived on those most furtile places and have become our cities. We have now concreted over what was once a food producing environment. Now the sun's rays simply hit that concrete and produce nothing. Cities are also where we need most of our food to be delivered.3) Since our so called 'green revolution' our farming methods have started relying on the macro nutrients extracted from fossil fuels and we have come up wit all sorts of chemical cocktails to eradicate all other forms of life within soil that might harm the produce. The result is that we have maximised the food output from soil for our growing populations. The soil itself cannot produce plants without relying on fossil fuels. The soil is not being topped up with nutrients in more natural ways even though we have the knowledge of how this can be done because for a while it would lower productivity and it would create more labour for its initial period and not many farmers have to means to do that.
There are certain statistics that we need to worry about. Population figures are growing exponentially. There is a natural plateau for population growth as people become more prosperous and as women rise to the status of making their own decisions and having careers in any given culture. Advances in medicine mean that we are living longer. IN the last 100 years we have learnt how to prolong our average life spans by twice as much. That's a good thing but our economy has to support an aging population. This is what is driving up our immigration policy. The idea is that migrants workers will be paying into the tax system so that older people can retire. Of course this is not a sustainable model. Our money system is also based upon an ever increasing economy and that means an ever increasing population. We can change this. We can change our money system if we had the collective will to do so. We could stop our immigration policy, we could encourage and positively incentivise more women to have their fewer children and to have them in their thirties when they have lived a little. IN our automated age we could design a society where our elderly population is contributing intellectually, remaining productive in some respect where abilities still thrive. We could design a sustainable society in this way.
There is also a calamity heading our way. The third world countries that are producing our food will want to have their own surplus value gained from food production within their own countries. Currently ownership in 3rd world countries is not with the majority of the people only elites and corporations reaping the rewards from their resources. Inevitably this will change as those countries gain greater democracy. They are, at this time, still very much living in the system that was designed in colonial times as far as seeing their produce go overseas. Only now it is a more commercial colonisation. Not only this but the fuel it takes to get the food here is becomeing more expensive as so too is the nutrients and chemicals for fertilisers obtained from fossil fuels as the demands on oil is becoming increasingly outstriped by the supply. The easy to get at, cheap to pump, 'low hanging fruit' has been taken advantage of already. The result from both these things is that food will become more expensive. Food production companies are already moving towards cheaper supplies and are filling those products with more preservatives and chemicals for flavouring which is not great for our health overall. We also know that burning fossil fuels is releasing those millions of years of CO2 build up within one generation. We are still concreting over more and more CO2 producing lands. This is a pretty dire situation but there is hope.
My research started from this point. I wanted to focus on these issues and see where the solutions were. The result was my work 'Now Utopia' and I believe we have all the answer we need at our fingertips. In other sections of this website I have written about how we can change the money system by nationalising the money suppy. I have spoken about how we should bring down immigration to create a sustainable population. I have spoken about how our system of capitalism needs to be better distributed to include all of society and evened out so that wealth is better distributed too. I have spoken about how we can create an economic boom by turning up the pace of electric car production and by domestically produced electricity for all. I have a vision for how we should not strip criminals of their productivity so that they are able to contribute to society while carrying out their sentance and then contribute to the costs their crime has brought to society. I have expressed how we can produce 100% employment by simply providing work to the unemployed instead of money to not work. Now I will paint a vision for how the UK could look in the coming years as far as its food production. The answer is simple. We, the people, retake food production. We put the top soil back on top of our cities. I have a challenge for the British public that I call FOOD25. I think that we, the people, can produce 25% of our own food. This is linked to what needs to be a farming revolution that have farms producing a wider range of fresh produce so that their farms can go organic ie crop rotation that re-introduces natural nutrients. My belief is that farms can end up producing greater variety and an increase of 25% more produce with organic farming methods. The net result is that we produce 100% of our own food. Of course we may still import exotic things but then we should also be able to export food to europe too or perhaps use our excess grain for biofuels.
What would it take to produce 25% of our own food? Well, it would take community participation. It would also require some focus and funding from a government level. The produce would be fresh and healthy and would get to those with the most need for nutrician. It would require that we take another look at our building designs. Many would need a southerly facing exoskeleton of greenhousing or scaffolding where we could place pots of topsoil under the sun's rays. Some of us have garden space, we all have windows where we can use window boxes, we all have wall and roof space where something could be growing. Our communities have shared space. Communities can collectively grow produce and share that produce. Look outside the window of any city and there will be some plant life but the plants and trees that remain do not produce food. We have been disconnected from our food supply. This has been a social design and the result is that someone is taking a profit out of your need for food and the chances are that you have no share of that profit. Imagine if our cities were covered in a green layer of food productivity. Imagine your city producing its own fresh products that you eat the same day that it is picked. Imagine your city being richer with oxygen as a result of all that growth. Please take the time to watch this video from the US which covers all the points I am trying to make here. The video was born out of the US Ocuppy movement but all its points are relevant to us here in the UK.
Why it makes sense:
1) Its healthier, non-processed, fresher food
2) Less energy from fossil fuels has gone into producing and transporting it thus saving co2
3) Profit is not moving outside the community
4) Growing plants absorb CO2 and produce oxygen
5) Communities would need to collaborate to make it happen
6) It would make our concrete cities look and feel better
7) More people would be active and gaining exercise and communication skills
8) People would better understand to process of production and would make better decisions that effect sustainability like waste recycling etc.