Do we really know where our food comes from? Have all the ingredients come from one place or many? Has it been subject to processing, where did that happen, and should we care?
More often than not supermarket and fast food produce arrive through a complex supply chain, involving multiple locations that are far from transparent.
Most of us think all we need to know is the country of origin or the place of manufacture, the only mandatory requirement relating to food provenance by EU law for Consumers Regulation.
What is important, is where and how our plant foods are grown, where and how our animal (including fish) foods are raised, and where do the ever-increasing amounts of multi-ingredient processed foods come from? It is said that this is the part of the food chain that resembles a black, or at least deeply opaque, box.
As major corporations blatantly exploit society’s desire for cheap food, increasing globalisation and industrialisation of our food production systems, have all caused many to lose touch with traditional foods and farming methods.
Shoppers are increasingly asking where their meat was reared, and if it is local. The best chance we have to avoid the growing acceptance that major corporation food production, and laboratory produced protein is the key to feeding the world, is to maintain consumer demand for local and traditionally farmed produce.
Farm shops, farmer’s markets and local food co-operatives are still the best ways to purchase our food.
Nature designed plants to grown in soil and cows to eat grass, but today the majority of salad vegetables we buy in supermarkets have never seen soil, they are mostly grown hydroponically. And much of the beef and farmed fish are fed maize, grain and soya, all alien to their evolutionary history.
Increasingly the trend is for animals to be intensively reared in systems designed to produce maximum yield at the lowest possible cost. If stress hormones flood the meat, which already contain a less than ideal essential fatty acid ratio, due to their unnatural diet, this will impact negatively on our bodies when we eat it.
We must not allow ourselves to become disconnected from the sources of our food. Already most supermarket food is produced or processed a great distance away. It is part of globalisation driven by high demand for cheap food, and feeding an ever growing world population.
We must not rely on multiple ingredients from unknown sources being highly processed before they even reach us. A quick trip to the supermarket or takeaway provides neat little packets, tins and packages of what now passes for food.
Much of which is laden with carcinogenic inflammatory chemicals and multiple additives, designed to prolong shelf-life and replicate the taste of the original raw foods. But do we really believe they will prolong our lives?
If I were a heterosexual, red bloodied, Anglo Saxon fit and able male I would want to know why I am no longer deemed suitable to be a conservative MP, let alone for a job in the cabinet or whips office. Nor suitable to be a member of HM’s armed forces.
The PM has managed to alienate 79 per cent of conservative MPs by misguidedly attempting to be seen as modern and multi-cultural, by appointing 100 per cent women to the Whips office, and increasing from 28 per cent to 34 per cent women in the cabinet.
I am clearly not alone believing serving or recently retired members of the armed services, should be out on the high street recruiting individuals wanting to ‘Be the Best’, defending their Queen and country. Not marketing executives who believe only snowflakes with personality disorders should apply.