Tag Archives: Lucy Siegl

People’s image of farming is a complete fantasy

From Lucy Siegl in The Guardian:

“[Patrick] Holden’s day job, for 15 years, was heading the UK’s premier organic food charity, the Soil Association, with Prince Charles among his green pals during critical years for British food. While he was in charge, the charity’s staff rose from five to over 180, and sales of organic produce in the UK grew from £50m to £2bn. But when he retired in 2011, handing over the reins to fellow farmer Helen Browning, he’d had his fill of that organic binary system where you’re either certified, or you’re not. He astounded conventional farmers when – on his way out at the Soil Association – he more or less apologised for an ‘us’ and ‘them’ system of food production. “Perhaps we have upset the conventional farming community by continually saying we were right and they were wrong,” Holden said at the Wales Organic Producers’ Conference in October 2010. “We should not be out there thinking and talking of ourselves as organic farmers, because that separates us from the rest of the farming community.” Continue reading

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Raw milk controversy reaching England

From Lucy Siegl in The Guardian:

“Raw milk is hot right now, feted by fans for its “cow to cup” direct supply chain. Of course the milk itself never gets hot at all. Unlike “normal” milk, which is heated to 72C to achieve pasteurisation, raw milk remains steadfastly unpasteurised. Naturally, shunning the pathogen-busting work of Louis Pasteur it’s a controversial tipple.

But it is a relatively low-emissions drink compared to conventional milk (although it should be noted that all animal-based products have a substantial footprint). Unlike the 13bn litres of normal milk processed each year by three main processors in 100 sites across the UK, this raw milk is not pre-chilled, siloed, separated, homogenised, pasteurised and refrigerated before being trucked to retailers.

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