We do not need the wide range, nor the wide variety of foods that are available to us today, in order to survive.
In fact, the majority, if not all of the food that any of us require, to have a very healthy and nutritious diet, can be produced, provided or is already available to us all from not only within the UK, but in all likelihood from within the local areas around our homes.
The prospect of a ‘meat and two veg’ kind of lifestyle may sound abhorrent to many. But if you are hungry and have very little of anything, a good meal of anything will make you happy – if it is something that you can afford to buy and to prepare.
The thing that will surprise many, is that the issues we face with obesity, food allergies or food intolerances and the rise in many of the illnesses that people suffer as they go through life, are all related to the foods we eat and the way that we eat them. We have been actively encouraged to move away from very simple and straightforward foods, to highly processed versions that rely on many additional ingredients and that often involve massive supply chains in some way.
If food is grown or produced locally, and then only preparation which is strictly necessary is carried out locally too, the need for packaging, preservatives and further processing is VERY limited indeed.
We may not be living in a time where life can be put in a time machine and literally transported back to when we had a butcher, fishmonger, baker, saddler, blacksmith or any other specialist provider of the basic goods or services we need, located in shops or premises around the village green or in the Town Marketplace. But the reality of what we actually need AND what will be good for us all, will be a result that in 21st Century Terms, ends up being practically the same.
As quickly as possible and in order to alleviate the unnecessary pain that will come from delay, we need to refocus the priorities of food production to the shortest journey and shortest time possible ‘from farm to fork’.
Where possible, farms and farmers should be encouraged and supported to become able to make the foods and goods they produce available at either their own gate, or to work closely and collaboratively with other local producers and retailers through localised cooperative systems to ensure that any necessary supply chain is a local as it can be.
The technology and understanding exists for all ancillary services such as abattoirs and such like to exist at the highest standards possible on a much smaller and much more localised scale than ever before, and it is here that the real support for UK Farmers, Growers and the Fishing Industry from government and our communities should now be.