War Memorial Gary Trouton

Our Food Our Future

February 2010

John reports on the Downham and Villages in Transition initiative

Thank you to Cyril Marsters for lending some words of wisdom last month to the issues I have been bangin' on about. His observations about the problems with food supply in relation to 'Peak Oil' are particularly important. It is hard not to take the apparent abundance of food we have access to for granted. The reality is we have at best only two days supply of food available to us through a centralised highly oil dependent production and distribution system. And at this time of writing the extreme weather is pushing that system to it's limits. 'Food costs soar as big freeze deepens': 'Farmers struggle to harvest supplies' These were headlines in the Observer Jan 10th. Our resilience is being tested right now. I guess we have exchanged resilience for convenience. But what is not so convenient is unpredictable prices in an increasingly unstable economy that is less able to guarantee work and income for not only those most in need, but anyone who doesn't run a bank.

The food price spike last year was not unconnected to the Problems of oil supply. The pressure to make land available for "Biofuels" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) has forced the price of staple crops upwards. So whilst food riots spread across the third world, here in affluent Britain, lawns were dug up for growing vegetables and a surge in demands for allotments has put pressure on local authorities to meet this demand. Ask any Stoke Ferry Parish councillor.

Last October "Downham and Villages in Transition" ran a large event in Downham Town Hall called "Our Food our Future" See:- www.transitiondownhamandvillages.co.uk for photos and responses to the event.

The day consisted of speakers, stalls. films, a talk by Bob Flowerdew, garden share and most important food and the eating thereof. It is our intention to bring an offspring of this event to Stoke Ferry and villages around the weekend of March 21st. Anyone interested is welcome to participate. You may have ideas we haven't thought of. The intention is to have an event that is sociable and informative, that looks, sounds and tastes good and supports peoples efforts to become more self reliant. Call 01366 502106 for more information or to help.

John Preston

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