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Today, it’s time to shine the spotlight on Britain and see what they are up to when it comes to their policy on food nutrition.
I hope you find this article interesting.
Have a great day.
Globe and Mail, Jan. 08, 2010 2:54AM EST
Imported beef. Genetically modified potatoes. The disappearance of those
handy Labels that tell you just how far your green beans travelled before
reaching the Grocery store shelf.
This is the stuff of Jamie Oliver’s nightmares – and all of it may come
The British government unveiled a national 20-year food-security manifesto
Tuesday aimed at safeguarding the future of the country’s food supply, which
is in Danger of shrinking if certain consumer trends – the favouring of
local foods over imported, the rejection of genetically modified food and
reliance on “food miles” to Measure the environmental cost of food –
The plan argues that the way food is bought and sold in Britain must be
revolutionized, and is one of the first of its kind among developed nations.
But that may not be
for long. International food-policy experts predict similar strategies will
be Cropping up in developed countries all over the world as the availability
of food is Increasingly linked to national security.
“We know we are at one of those moments in our history where the future of
our economy, our environment, and our society will be shaped by the choices
we make now,”
Hilary Benn, Britain’s secretary of state for environment, food and rural
affairs, said in announcing the strategy at a farming conference in Oxford.
“Food security is as important to this country’s future well-being . as
energy security. We know that the consequences of the way we produce and
consume our food are Unsustainable to our planet and to ourselves,” he said.
The strategy, an 84-page document entitled Food 2030, is Britain’s first
Comprehensive food policy in more than 50 years.
“We can’t just carry on as we are,” warns Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the
report’s introduction. “We need to produce more food without damaging the
natural Resources – air, soil, water and marine resources, biodiversity and
– that we all
Depend on. We need to feed more people globally, many of whom want or need
to eat a Better diet.”
The strategy aims to have both a national and global impact. Within Britain,
it Advocates for increased in-country food production and a smaller
environmental footprint (via adoption of greener farming techniques, for
example, and increased acceptance of technological innovation” – a phrase
some experts are interpreting as advocating the introduction of genetically
modified food to the country).
It warns consumers that an overzealous dedication to buying local – and
avoiding imported foods – will have a negative economic impact on often
poorer exporting Countries if the trend continues. The report also takes aim
at an over-reliance on “food miles.
For years, laws have mandated that British-sold products be labelled with
Indicators of their carbon footprint. However, continuing to use food miles
as a main means of calculating the environmental impact of certain foods is
not sustainable in the food regime of the future, according to the report,
because transport accounts for so little (9 per cent) of the food chain’s
Phil Bloomer, a policy director for Oxfam in Great Britain who attended the
announcement, said the strategy is by no means a perfect blueprint for food
security. However, he applauded the British government for taking the
“It’s good governments are talking about these things . and not in an
inward-looking fashion,” he said. “It’s becoming increasingly fashionable to
talk about local Food production and food miles, none of which guarantees
that you’re going to create low-carbon agriculture,” he said. On the
contrary, the buy-local philosophy could lead to a desire to “erect walls
around countries instead of seeing ourselves as having a Shared destiny.”
“We are far more mutually dependent than we’ve ever been in the past,” Mr.
Bloomer said. “We need to make sure that we’re not creating Fortress Canada
or Fortress Europe and leaving everybody else out. That is definitely
With developing countries would lead to far greater levels of international
tension And conflict.”
While activist critics panned the strategy for its lack of teeth (it
contains no indication of impending policies aimed at enacting the changes
it advocates), Dr. Shenggen Fan, director-general of the Washington-based
International Food Policy Research Institute, said the document should be
seen as a positive pledge of intention.
“It is a welcome step,” he said, adding it is critical that its authors
envision using “the whole global food system to ensure food security.”
“The question is whether the U.K. government will really implement it,” he
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