Posts tagged local food

Milk from Cloned Cows – Is this what people want?

I’m often asked what my thoughts are on things like GM and Cloning by non-farming friends and colleagues.

In short:

  • I believe in choice for the consumer, so if it is really what people want then fine.


  • It is unecessary because “traditional” advances in yields are already outgrowing population forecasts anyway.


  • Massive potential for single genome plants/animals to be susceptable to single diseases/pathogens – Genetic variation is a massive benefit in disease protection. Imagine if all british dairy cows were cloned from the same cow and all died – not good for food security.


  • If we routinely clone other animals how long before we start to justify others like……Humans? That can’t be good!

However, because of the lobbying pressure and widespread research these genes are creeping into our livestock and plant sectors anyway through sale of bulls and semen and cross pollination. So do we really know that our commodity level food is GM or Clone free now?

No we don’t.

This gives a small producer like me a slight dilema of conscience. . . .

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Food Standards Agency is right


It’s not often I agree with the Food Standards Agency but the report explaining that Organic food is no more healthy than other food is spot on.


I blogged here and here about the lack of integrity in the Organic brand (for that is all it is) and in this post I explained why it is no more healthy than any other product – especially when it comes to meat. I know the organic movement claim its all about the environment (which is great) but actual customers (you know the people who actually fund this project) buy primarily for health reasons.

There are lots of organic cheerleaders complaining about these articles. Why bother? Organic sales are falling despite an increase in demand for local quality food. The essential trust in food comes from being able to meet the farmer face to face not from some label on the packaging.



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Demand for Organic food is falling

I was at a Heart of England Fine Foods event last night about product pricing – more interesting than it sounds. The discussion turned to the plight of the organic brand in the downturn.




Most of the market research shows that people are eating out less and buying quality food to cook and eat/entertain at home. HEFF have some great research on this sort of thing.

These market conditions ought to be helping organic but seem not to be. The demand for local and artisan produce is still rising despite the recession.

Could the problem be the umbrella market placement of the “Organic” brand? Organic food now covers everything from well produced commodities to high-end artisan food. However, it is not specific to any one point in the market. So if Mrs. Blogs is buying a roast chicken for the family suddenly organic is too expensive but if its a rib of beef for the dinner party then organic on its own is not enough of a story. It’s the same with the RSPCA freedom foods now. I recently read about a pig farmer with a great welfare friendly system rearing 16,000 porkers a year. Great production system but it’s hardly artisan food.

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