Matthew Herbert on food policy

We need bigger solutions: bring back rationing for fish immediately, end the majority of advertising for highly processed foods, introduce the compulsory teaching of cooking in schools, reverse the rise in meat consumption, legalise much higher welfare standards for animal husbandry, ban GM foods. Turn over common land for people to grow food on, limit the power and presence of supermarkets and demand action much higher up the chain of command.

Aren\’t we lucky that The Guardian hires electronic musicians to tell us what food policy should be?

Next week, Fanny Craddock on how to tune your Moog.

18 comments on “Matthew Herbert on food policy

  1. Why does having lived in the best period of human history turn people into experts on things they know nothing about?

    and (given that I am asking the questions)

    Why do people feel the need to make me conform to their idea of how I should live? Especially as the majority don’t conform themselves.

    More state intervention, above all to tell me how to live, crush markets, increase food prices, reduce wealth and make the poor poorer. Way to go!

    Bog of, sunshine. You can go somewhere where they already live the way you want. I’m sure N. Korea needs a piano teacher.

  2. I have rarely come across an article so full of nonsense. And dangerous nonsense at that.

    Responsibility is constantly deferred downwards to us as though the food system is a benign force simply there to offer us choice and let us get on with it. But those decisions are impossible ones to make in a deceitful system like this.

    Sorry but what is that even suppose to mean? The food industry is not benign? Evidence to that end I see not. Where is the deceit?

    Take for example the report by the Pesticide Residues Committee, which states that wholemeal loaves contain significantly more toxic residues in them than white loaves due to the milling process. Yet nutritionally, brown loaves are much better for you. Less toxic, or less nutritious: how are we supposed to make that choice? We shouldn’t even have to.

    How is it deceitful to tell people that brown bread may be nutritionally better for you but that it contains more pesticide residues? We shouldn’t have to? You mean we should not have the freedom to choose but should eat our Victory Loaf and be grateful? We should not be told?

    To add insult to injury, according to Tristram Stuart’s book Waste, UK households waste 25% of all food they buy.

    For various definitions of waste. Notice that in the Third World about the same amount of food is wasted because it goes off.

    With so much additional packaging, excessive choice and conspicuous encouraging of overconsumption, it’s an entirely unsustainable model.

    Excessive choice? We are back with our Victory Loaf?

    All the messages we should publicise are back to front: we should urgently be buying less, and buying locally.

    Is it even worth asking why?

    If I had more time, I’d start a campaign called See Your Food, which would demand the legal right to be able to witness how our food was made, reared, killed, prepared and packaged.

    I would support that completely. We should know more. We should be involved more. Especially when it comes to animals. But notice this is a demand for more information, not for less.

    The unspoken truth of our beloved buffet of wanton excess is that the whole food system is built on cheap oil. It is primed for a very swift collapse when the realisation that we’re running out of the stuff finally sinks in.

    Except we are not. But dare to dream! Mad Max (and isn’t he dreamy in leather?) could be just around the corner.

    And when our kids ask about what we used our last few years of oil on, we’ll be able to answer that during the UK apple season, we thought it a good idea to fly apples in from New Zealand instead.

    Except when it is apple season in the UK, it presumably isn’t apple season in New Zealand.

    We need bigger solutions: bring back rationing for fish immediately,

    Fish is rationed under the CFP – although I suppose he means it ought to be rationed for the rest of us.

    end the majority of advertising for highly processed foods

    Free speech? Who needs it?

    introduce the compulsory teaching of cooking in schools

    No woodwork for girls!

    reverse the rise in meat consumption,

    That would be interesting.

    Turn over common land for people to grow food on,

    Most commons are free for people to rear food on. Most don’t.

    In a corrupt system, the choices made by those at the tail end are mostly illusory.

    Sure, the usual Marxist cant that the proles need to be told what to think by the vanguard of upper middle class intellectuals like the author.

    But on the plus side, I am sure he will be pleased to know the solution involves biodegradable, totally organic hemp. About ten feet of it.

  3. “legalise much higher welfare standards for animal husbandry,”

    Why? Are higher standards currently illegal then? If not, then he already has his wish.

  4. @bilbaoboy,

    Given that one way to get cheap supermarket food is Buy One Get One Free offers, I thought bogof was more appropriate…

  5. As a farmer I’m all in favour. No cheap imports, much higher prices for my produce, where do I sign up?

    /sarc

  6. ….The unspoken truth of our beloved buffet of wanton excess is that the whole food system is built on cheap oil. ….

    Has this twat been to a petrol station recently?

    We have the most expensive oil ever and the chances are it will not get much cheaper. For this reason, ships are getter ever larger and more efficient, as are aeroplanes.

  7. SMFS: “I have rarely come across an article so full of nonsense. And dangerous nonsense at that.”

    Not been reading CiF long, then?

  8. The usual toss from the usual tossers. When exactly did it become fashionable foe the Left to want to force poor people to pay more for food, and why aren’t the Guardian offices besieged daily by the mob as a result?

  9. “Turn over common land for people to grow food on”

    and why is it always a return to subsistence farming? Has Herbert actually tried this himself for a year? If so, I’m impressed he’s still alive and can also afford his no-doubt expensive devices.

  10. As Bilbaoboy said, these Guardianistas simply can’t leave people alone, can they? After railing against capitalism for so long, they can’t get their heads around the fact that said capitalism has given them so much cheap food and comfortable living that they have enough time to whinge about how OTHER people live, instead of working their nuts off to feed and clothe themselves.

    Oh the irony.

  11. I think he means by
    ““legalise much higher welfare standards for animal husbandry,”

    Why? Are higher standards currently illegal then? If not, then he already has his wish.

    Make it compulsory.

    Of course it is not up to us as we cannot stop foreign farmers breaking any new laws and undercutting our farmers.

  12. If New Zealand can produce and ship in apples to Britain during our apple season cheaply enough to give our apples competition, maybe someone needs to look at what can be done to improve our processes regarding apples – make the home grown market as efficient as the NZ one.

  13. @Martin Davies

    Correct – and it might also occur to this idiot that we export stuff to New Zealand, and the fucking ships might as well come back with something other than lamb in the holds.

    Further interesting me is his website’s gigs page http://www.matthewherbert.com/gigs/

    ‘The unspoken truth of our beloved buffet of wanton excess is that the whole music scene is built on cheap oil. It is primed for a very swift collapse when the realisation that we’re running out of the stuff finally sinks in. And when our kids ask about what we used our last few years of oil on, we’ll be able to answer that during the German techno season, we thought it a good idea to fly utter cunts in from Britain instead.’

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