Oxford real farming conference believe agri... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating
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Oxford real farming conference believe agricology is the future.


Hi everyone,

While we are decrying farming practices food waste and unsustainable farming methods well so are some farmers and farmers who know how to grow crops and rear animals ecologically whose biggest concern is that we the consumer won't buy into sustainable farming. One forward thinking young female farmer in N. Wales said we can produce organic sustainable food but will the consumer want quality local grown produce...And I'm thinking, Oh yes please...

This is an alternative farming conference organised by the founders of the real farming movement

Here's an excerpt from the link below which I think gives hope for the future:

"It is absolutely crucial that all of us who believe in sustainable, environmentally-friendly, higher-welfare farming work together as we enter this time of transition. The global wind of change is swinging behind us, with increasing recognition that farming based on intensification and low-quality mass production is an unsustainable option with very dangerous outcomes for climate change and the environment. Agroecology is becoming progressively mainstream, with a recognition that farming divorced from the environment around it – and the supply chain on which it depends – is not a solution that will survive. It is exactly the right time to rethink our food and farming systems and make Britain a world leader in moving towards a sustainable future."



Now what we as consumers need to do is get behind this and support sustainable farming and be prepared to pay a fair price to keep it sustainable and in harmony with nature.

Jerry 😊

12 Replies
crazyfitnessPWB Guest

Hi Jerry

I saw Apocalypse Cow on TV a couple of nights ago which was about what meat eating and farming practices are doing to our environment. There was one very positive section of the programme which was about a farmer who didn't use any pesticides and used wood chippings as a fertiliser. He used natural wildlife i.e. insects as pesticide and it worked. That part of the programme was so uplifting and positive.

I do pay more for my vegetables and fruit if I have any (I can't eat much due to IBS) and am more than happy to continue doing this. Where my husband and me agree is that foid is cheap now in comparison to what it was years ago.

We need to remove the cheap mass produced produce from our supermarkets and replace it with good honest food that way the consumer wouldn't have a choice and be able to purchase poor quality products.

Thank you for sharing - I'm passionate about this.

JerryAdministrator in reply to crazyfitness

Hi Alicia, they actually discussed apocalypse cow with some farmers at the conference and that was interesting. It was so good listening to what famers who know that we have to change and change now because the soil is depleted with the loss of biodiversity but these farmers know and want to farm in a sustainable eco friendly manner.

I am also passionate about this because it's our future and the future of our beautiful planet,

crazyfitnessPWB Guest in reply to Jerry

Hi Jerry, how interesting.

It's good to know that farmers also want to change, we can't keep going in like this. I'm sorry but today's society is thinking food should be cheap and plentiful but that's at the expense of our planet.

There is very little quality in our food now, too much junk, highly processed food.

Whilst high-welfare animal farming is better than cafo in terms of cows smiling whilst they live, the idea that it is sustainable goes against a huge amount of high-quality science.

It generates very expensive cuts of meat which is only affordable by the wealthy & people who live locally. So that cust out a lot of people in London, for example, who are never going to live local to a farm on in rural wales. As demand increases inevitably it demands more and more land - and we simply don't have even that land available now.

So assuming every cafo converted into pasture-raised just calculate how much land would be needed. In the ApocolypsCow program it was stated that there were (if I remember it correctly) 8,000,000 chickes in the cafo farms above the river in question. Given 2.2m chickens are eaten DAILY in the UK, are you expecting them all to be grown pasture raised?

JerryAdministrator in reply to andyswarbs

Hi Andy, they discussed this and all agreed that in the future people had to eat much less but better cuts of meat so the use and practises of farm land had to change.

It was interesting how they agreed with some points on apocalypse cow so these are a new generation of eco savvy farmers is my hope.

TheAwfulToad in reply to Jerry

I'm not an "Atlas Shrugged" capitalist, but I do believe a properly-regulated market will reach a correct balance between meat availability and price. The point here is that the economic value of an animal derives from its labour and manure - that is, its capacity to transform non-human food into human food by means of its intermediate outputs. Its eggs, mik, offspring/meat might pay for its keep, but they're not a major source of income. Therefore, a farmer will not keep more animals than is necessary to maintain the ecological integrity of his land. Meat will come onto the market, but it will not respond well to demand. Meat prices will remain relatively high, and total output fairly low. People will inevitably eat less meat than they do today.

The problem here is that the government continues to subsidize cheap meat, and to create legal loopholes to enable cruelty. If farmers were held to the same ethical standards as pet-owners, intensive farming would disappear overnight. There is no logical reason for permitting cruelty to a pig but not to a dog.

JerryAdministrator in reply to TheAwfulToad

There is nothing wrong with working hard to earn a living whats important is that the price is fair so no one is exploited which I'm sure you agree with.

You are also very right about cheap meat from animals force fed and stressed when there is no reason or excuse not to treat farm animals respectfully or differently to pets.

And whats happened with processed foods is we have lost touch with what we are really eating and are suffering the consequences...

Andy: a very crude rule-of-thumb for pastured hens is 100 per hectare. At that stocking density, real farms produce about 150 broilers per hectare per year. That implies 5.5m hectares (50,000 square kilometers) of farmland to supply Britain's chicken habit. That certainly is a lot of land (one-third the area of England). But consider: where do you think the feed for those caged chickens is coming from? A chicken eats what a chicken eats. The only logical conclusion is that somewhere on the globe is a whole lot of land being used to grow chicken feed for English chickens; and where the waste is going is anybody's guess.

As with most things, that's all a bit of an oversimplification, but with a pastured chicken flock, that land has multiple uses. The chickens are almost an afterthought. As the chickens are rotated through, other things are grown on that land, so you potentially have 50,000km2 of farmland producing multiple outputs - quite possibly enough for the UK to be entirely self-sufficient.


Hi Jerry

Thanks for sharing this information.

Zest :-)

JerryAdministrator in reply to Zest

Thank you Zest you’re lucky as you have Guernsey cows fresh sea food and fairies...😊

I'd never heard of this, so thanks for flagging it up. I've finally had a chance to read through some of it to see what they're about. I love their name ("real farming"), particularly since I dislike the term "organic" but can't think of anything better!

I don't have much to do with the UK these days, but I do still own farmland there. I'll definitely get in touch with these guys and see which way the wind is blowing. It may be that real farming will take off in the UK in the near future. I hope it does.

On the other side of the coin, I notice New Scientist magazine (which I used to read and enjoy) has been running a series of articles for the last year or so along the lines of "Why Organic Food Will Cause an Ecological Apocalypse". Sigh.

JerryAdministrator in reply to TheAwfulToad

Hey TAT I'm glad as I wasn't sure if I was being naive as I don't normally listen to farmers weekly on the radio but was captivated by this.

Organic is used generically to mean organically grown when in reality all plants are organic including tobacco...So I'm glad that I missed the articles in New scientist, Oh dear indeed.

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