British crops are shite this year. So, let\’s grow more food in Britain!

It really does puzzle me how people can make this logical leap:

It was revealed earlier this month that our wet winter and freezing spring have led to the poorest potato yield (down 20 per cent on last year) since the drought of 1976. Jersey Royals will be at least a month late because of tardy planting due to adverse weather, and the price of a 2.5kg bag of white potatoes has risen by 43 per cent – up from £1.35 this time last year to £1.93. The carrot harvest has been hit by the waterlogged ground, peas and tomatoes have been affected by low levels of light, and Britain will also need to import more wheat than it exports for the first time in a decade.

So depending heavily upon one geographic region for our food looks like a bad idea then. Bad weather has the possibiloity of wiping out much of our food supply. So, what should we do about this?

All the same, can it really be true, as agriculture minister David Heath claims, that unless householders start Digging for Victory (Survival, even), we will face empty shelves as supermarkets struggle to import enough food to feed us? Alarmingly, it would appear so.

We should double down and increase our reliance upon one geographic area for our food?

There\’s something not quite right about this logic. Something insane about it actually.

If reliance upon one geographic area causes problems then the solution is to rely upon more than one geographic area. Mopre trade for food, not less home grown stuff.

And so to the puzzle: how is it that people who do indeed remember to breathe manage to get this wrong?

15 thoughts on “British crops are shite this year. So, let\’s grow more food in Britain!”

  1. Surreptitious Evil

    You seem to be presuming ignorance or error.

    Malice (at least on the part of the person who ‘influenced’ the writing of the briefing note that the politician is reading out load) is always an option. In the Sherlockian sense …

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    All the same, can it really be true, as agriculture minister David Heath claims, that unless householders start Digging for Victory (Survival, even), we will face empty shelves as supermarkets struggle to import enough food to feed us?

    No. What a stupid question. Even dumber than what TW is objecting to. How could the large supermarkets ever struggle to import enough food to feed the country?

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Incidentally, anyone remember this blast from the past from the Beeb?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7284011.stm

    “Many people see this as a terrible, ghastly, pathetic throwback to an era of grinding toil.”

    No kidding?

    Although I liked today’s story better:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21859771

    What a shame that meteor strikes are not reliable. Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin? Alma Mahler, Oskar Kokoschka and Walter Gropius? How much more pleasurable would the twentieth century have been without any of them. The only one I would miss would be Franz Joseph.

  4. Serf: “…but most of the people spouting this bollocks seem to actually believe it”

    Really? Check out how they live.

    Doesnt seem as though they believe it enough to change their lifestyle. Just everyone elses.

  5. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but as a bit of a foodie w***** I have tried growing my own stuff (as well as baking my own bread, curing my own gravlax &) and whilst I will happily accept that vegetable growing is a great hobby and a good way to inexpensively use your leisure time and may even produce satisfaction at the point of consumption in a sort of William Morrisy sort of way, it not only costs hugely more but also produces less good results.

    It is distinct in this from learning to cook/bake/brew* where with a bit of time and patience one can produce better results cheaper.

    *though there’s a large tax implication on the last one, obvs.

  6. Oooh, don’t get me started. All this British food must be grown at all costs attitude gets my goat. You want to look into the stupidity of a town near me which wants to grow all its own food. Currently its doing it for a few dozen “believers”, but no way can it do it for 10,000. Look up Incredible Edible Todmorden.

  7. Surreptitious Evil

    There’s a reason the Scots eat haggis, neeps and tatties* at Burns Night – it was the sort of thing that was all you had left.

    Unless you were rich or lived by a coastal or loch fishery.

    * This can be very nice. It is usually revolting. Luckily, normally nobody dares to complain about you downing large amounts of whisky with the meal.

  8. Whilst I do my bit in the grow-your-own department, my neighbours produce acres of the stuff on a commercial basis and are very good at what they do. My pathetic efforts hardly seem worthwhile, given the neighbour delivers his produce to your door washed and trimmed. But then there

  9. Julia M, on changing lifestyles to be green, there is an example of an environmentalist having a pretty green lifestyle, ie being vegetarian and having a bike, no car. Bjorn Lomberg, the skeptical environmentalist. Other greenies hate him (but to be fair not for that).

  10. Unless you were rich or lived by a coastal or loch fishery.

    Some time ago I worked (in london) with a young Scottish fellow from a fishing village, and he said the primary reason he came to England was to escape the terrible food.

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