Category Archives: food standards

Time to plan your BREXIT garden!

The panic to find fresh food may be over for now but there are other problems on the horizon. When we crash out of the EU without a deal the government will cosy up to the US to import their food. When that happens how will you know what you are eating? To find out have a look at this article by Alice Keeffe in The Guardian.

“There has been much ado about the prospect of chlorinated chicken, but the implications of a trade deal with the US are equally grim for fruit and veg. The American government will insist on our loosening regulations around the use of pesticides, so we can look forward to apples containing higher levels of malathion (an organophosphate insecticide linked to cancer which can impair the respiratory system) and grapes with added propargite, an insecticide that has been associated with cancer and can affect sexual function and fertility. Oh yes, and then there are neonicotinoids, all but banned in the UK because of their toxic effect on bees, and chlorpyrifos, banned by the EU over concerns about its impact on the brains of foetuses and young children.”

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate which were used as insecticides. They used to be widespread but were banned in Europe some years back. It is accumulative poison and can be absorbed through the skin. The manufacturers continue to sell them to the developing world and the US. See this piece about child deaths in India.

Do we really want food produced using pesticides that have been banned here? It is time we grew up as a nation and looked after ourselves and the land where we live. There must be a resounding NO from anybody who cares about food, their health and the long term future of this fragile planet.

One answer is to grow your own. Now is a good time to start planning and getting your food garden ready. We are hear to help.

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What are people for?

Wendell Berry’s book “What are people for?” is more appropriate today than when it was published 30 years ago. In one paragraph he sums up exactly what it means to be a passive consumer of food.

“We still (sometimes) remember that we cannot be free if our minds and voices are controlled by someone else. But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else. The condition of the passive consumer of food is not a democratic condition. One reason to eat responsibly is to live free.”

Wendell Berry, “What are people for?”, North Point Press, New York, 1990. P.147

Banned pesticides in imported food

With a lot of talk about the UK buying food from ‘the market’  it is no coincidence that Johnson whipped his MPs to get a bill through parliament. The legislation clears the way for the UK to import food without conforming to current UK or EU standards.

Great you might say, as long as it is cheap but it is likely that such food could have been treated with pesticides banned in the UK for many years because of their known effects on human health. Chemicals like organophosphates  which were derived from the gas used in WWII gas chambers.

A new report from Switzerland found alarming levels of residues in imported foods from many Counties including the USA.

The range of produce containing banned pesticides is alarming.

What we must do to preserve the quality of UK food:

  1. Sign the petition the food standards petition here 
  2. Find your MP and write to them to voice your concerns.
  3. Do not buy food from any of the countries on the list above – check the label.
  4. Contact you favourite supermarket asking them if they are aware of the issue and what they are doing about it.
  5. Play safe and only buy fresh fruit and veg that is certified organic.
  6. Grow as much of your own as you can.