Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thinking About Production

Chickpea plant   credit: Wikipedia

Just as Britain has moved from the land of "meat and two veg" to a country full of curries and celebrity chefs (Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, etc.), so to has DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, changed its way of thinking about what the country should look at producing.
DEFRA is actually one of the more forward-thinking government departments around, and looking at the current vasriety of food consumption in the UK, they've figured out that it might be time for a change. As the Guardian reports:
Growing ingredients for Indian curries such as chickpeas for pakoras as well as a range of exotic herbs and spices would open up new markets for British farmers and reduce dependence on imports, according to government report into how the agricultural sector can operate more sustainably in future. Growing more curry ingredients domestically could also potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from food imports.
By examining the problems facing the UK's food production and countryside through key sectors and foods including curries, breads and dairy products, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is hoping to improve food systems at a time when they are coming under increasing threat. The Green Food Project report says that major changes must be made to agriculture, food processing and retailing, if price rises are to be kept in check and the natural environment preserved.
Lord knows, DEFRA may not be perfect (but really, who or what actually is?) but at least they, and by extension the British people, are grappling with questions that the majority of Canadians still haven't heard of.

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