Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Questions of food security are mentioned in the news and current affairs increasingly often. Food security means the resilience of the production line that brings food to our mouths. Food is one of our fundamental needs, it can be regarded narrowly, as just fuel for our bodily machines but to see the whole picture it also has the potential to keep us well, heal ill-health and be the glue of family life, relationships and communities. It can also be one of the remaining obvious links between humans and the natural world in lives that are increasingly urbanized and fast paced. Forgetting that we are actually human animals and our legacy is couched in the natural world might be a grave mistake causing alienation, while remembering that we are part of a huge web of interconnectedness can bring peace to uneasy minds. A feeling of connection whether to other people, or the world around, makes me feel that there is a point to living. I have discovered that when I feel disconnected I feel unhappy. A way to feel connected is the see the web of interconnection of everyday things; that my blanket was once a sheep, that my chair was once a tree and that my vegetables once sat in soil. If we are going to be sure of our food security we need to be able to produce food near to where we are living, preventing our connections from becoming too remote. The more links there are in the chain the more chance there is that one of the links will break. That is to say, the less planes, ships, lorries, fridges, pallets and even human hands there are involved in our food supply the less chance that political unrest, fuel scarcity, natural disasters or economic crisis will prevent food from reaching us. Having the hands on skills to work with nature to grow and produce food allows us to provide for our needs and protect our future health, wellbeing and peace of mind.