Sustainability (Chap 7)

The Hidden cost of food shows that for every pound we spend on food in the shops, there is another pound passed on to society. Half "of this total is made up by the damaging impacts of intensive production methods, including environmental pollution, soil degradation, biodiversity loss and some health impacts." While a further third is made up of "food-related healthcare costs, linked to poor diets...A high proportion of these extra costs are paid through general and local taxation". Not by the retailers. When snow covered the UK earlier this year, the loss of topsoil became starkly apparent as the white snow was rapidly covered with brown earth from eroded fields.
FAO Report says "Water pollution from unsustainable agricultural practices poses a serious risk to human health and the planet's ecosystems, a problem often underestimated by policymakers and farmers alike. "
LUPG report Transitions to Agroecology (The UK Statutory Conservation, countryside and environment agencies) says "More environmentally sustainable farming, such as the agroecological approaches considered in the study, provides opportunities to develop new business ventures, in turn helping to develop the rural economy and support rural communities." "Some farmers reported cognitive shifts in their understanding of farming (‘change the mind-set’, ‘weeds as forage’, ‘accepting mess’, and engaging with the local community) as well as emotional shifts in enjoying new skills and knowledge and increasing self-reliance (‘finding your own agronomic solutions’, ‘doing your own budgets’). "
Sustainability Food Trust says the hidden - and unpaid - costs of UK food is about £120b year. "The most significant share of this total is made up by the damaging impacts of intensive production methods, including environmental pollution, soil degradation, biodiversity loss and some health impacts. These account for an extra 50 p of every £1 spent on food. Food-related health care costs, linked to poor diets account for an extra 37p" Direct farm subsidies are only 2.5p.

Plant v Animal impacts

There is a general presumption that herbivores are better for the planet than carnivores. But..
For HerbivoresThis is based mainly on 1) number of calories to make vegetable calories much less than for meat, 2) GHP potential of methane production of ruminant creatures.
For carnivores1. Nitrate production - mainly for vegetable and grain production is a greater GHG contributor and energy consumer than methane (Stren) 2 According to Stern biggest contribuor to GHGs is land use change - from forest to pasture and from pasture to ploughed land..where3.Vegetable and grain growing is wrecking our best land.
Grass-fed Beef - the most vegan item in the supermarket Raising beef is good for the planet
See 'Sustainable Diets' ...
Sustainable Diets according to land.pptx

Caen & Abel

This was cut out of the book...The argument between the carnivores and herbivores goes back to ‘Biblical Times’, as told in the story of Cain and Abel. Their father – Adam – said they should make a sacrifice to God. Abel was a shepherd so offered up a nice young lamb, while Cain who ploughed the land offered ‘burnt grasses’. This may have been bread, as this would be where and when wheat was first cultivated. God preferred the lamb.
So Cain killed his brother. His punishment for this was that God sent him off to the land, East of Eden - from where the film gets its name. (The film plot changed a bit, so 'a wilful young man contends against his brother for the attention of their religious father'. James Dean played the wilful Cal (=Cain) to win him the first ever posthumous Oscar). Despite this story being part of all the three big Abrahamic religions, nobody has been able to explain to me why God is a carnivore

More recently in USA

"The farmer and the cowman should be friends"


Food Waste

Around a third of all food produced is wasted - a third of that is before the supermarket and a thirds is what we throw away.
Would giving tax credits to companies that give their food waste to food banks help?
Farm food waste could feed Manchester & Birmingham for a year.
Ocado - the on-line food retailer, has reduced food waste to virtually zero.
Moves to use bread - one of the biggest source of food waste, for brewing beer. Toast Ale Use our Loaf Beer - 'the best thing since sliced bread'. This is hardly new - both bread and beer have been proposed as the impetus for agriculture and civilisation. Some early bread making was for the explicit purpose of brewing beer. Origins of Bread & Beer
Sainsbury's given up on its pilot 'Waste less, Save more' campaign after rotten result in Derbyshire
Green Alliance 'Setting the Standard Shifting to sustainable food production in the UK' says "A successful domestic policy for sustainable food production is contingent on trade strategy. A vision of farms with high welfare standards and precision agriculture, growing high quality, sustainable, low carbon food would wither on the vine faced with a trade policy that opened up market access to food produced under lower environmental standards. " It is good at looking at the phrase 'public money for public goods' that everybody seems to agree with. But what are public goods and when do we use public money to rectify market failures?
Food Industry in 2018 - Bolder Aims and Broader Horizons on Sustainability "Food companies are being spurred by the UN Global Goals and heightened consumer expectations to increase the ambition and broaden the scope of their sustainability programmes."
Brexit & Environment is a network of impartial academic experts analysing the implications of Brexit for UK and EU environmental policy and governance.
Chatham House Conference A Sustainable Food Future Nov 27-28 London