Meet some of the inspiring people around the world who are leading change

Learn about some of the emerging technologies that could be part of our farming future

 

What's

the

problem?

  There's an awful lot to talk about here! There's plenty of really important facts and figures missing from this list, but here are a few that go some way to painting a picture of the situation for you to arm yourselves with.

Keep feeding you mind with our recommended websites and resources

         

  • Our food system is responsible for between 30-40% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 70% of freshwater use is from agriculture.

  • Earth supports 4 times more agricultural animals than people.

  • Livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land, yet produces less than 20% of the world's supply of calories.

Food and the planet

     How we shop and eat

  • Meat consumption has tripled in 50 years.

  • A third of all food grown is wasted, and a significant amount of that happens in our homes. The average household throws away £355 of food a year.

  • Food shopping was 10% of income in 2007 and 23% in 1980.

  • Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak:

    • 42% say the outbreak has made them value food more, and one in ten have shared something like food or shopping with a neighbour for the first time.

    • More than 19 million of us (38%) say they are cooking more from scratch and 17 million are throwing away less food (33%). 6%, or 3 million people, have tried a veg box scheme or ordered food from a local farm for the very first time.

  • The local food movement in the US is growing. From 2001 to 2010 farmers markets increased from 1755 to 786 and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) from 761 to 2500.

  • You save 50 litres of water every time you use lettuce and herbs from your garden rather than bagged washed lettuce.

     Food and farming

  • The percentage of the US workforce that were farmers fell from 50% in 1870, to 3% in 1990, to 1% in 2013.

  • Supermarket price wars and ever cheaper food make it extremely hard for a farmer to make a profit. Most receive around 9 to 12 pence on every pound you spend on their produce.

  • In UK farming has the highest rate of suicide than any other profession.

  • 10% British farmers take anti-depressants.

  • Average age of a British farmer is 59.

     Food and health

  • The gut holds 80% of your immune system.

  • Over the last 100 years, average mineral levels in agricultural soils had fallen worldwide, by 72% in Europe, 76% in Asia and 85% in North America.

  • Our food has lost 20–60% of its minerals.

  • Apples contain ⅓ iron they did in 1940.

  • Chicken contains 500% less omega 3 now than it did in 1970 and the fat content has risen from 8.6% to 22.8% in 2004.

  • Grass fed beef contains 500% more omega 3 than grain fed.

  • Use of Glyphosate, a known carcinogen, is up 400% in UK farming in 20 years. Found in over 60% of wholemeal bread. It’s used as a weed killer as well as to dry out crops. 

     Food and the economy

  • 9 food companies control 90% of the grocery market share.

  • Many reports say UK imports 50% of our food, but others say it’s as much as 80% as the first figure doesn’t include food that is processed in the UK but grown elsewhere, like tea.

  • We import around 90% of fruit and 60% of vegetables.

  • We even get 74% of our pears from Europe, despite the fact that pears are easily grown on UK soil.

  • 1 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in Britain found £1 spent there generated £2.59 for the local economy vs £1.40 in a supermarket.

  • We spend £120.14 billion a year on food and non-alcoholic drinks. A 2017 study by the Sustainable Food Trust found the hidden costs of our food system, from food-related health costs to environmental damage, cost the UK a total of £120.25 billion a year. As such, the report concludes that for every £1 UK consumers spend on food they pay additional £1 in hidden costs.

 

  There are so many incredible people around the world that are working hard to create a food future fit for us all. These are just a small selection of some of our top food heroes.

      RonFinley

Ron envisions a world where gardening is gangsta, where cool kids know their nutrition and where communities embrace the act of growing, knowing and sharing the best of the earth’s fresh-grown food.

Power

to the

people

      RikalizeReinecke

At the age of 12 Rikalize began setting up her own aquaponics growing project. It quickly became a successful business with employees that she manages independently.

      TeensForFoodJustice

In the heart of New York City, this incredible project is growing the next generation of farmers and food justice advocated through education with hydroponics.

 

Farms 

of the

future

  Explore some of the fascinating new ways people are farming, hoping to contribute towards a future that can feed 10 billion people with a healthy and sustainable food supply. Do you think think these technologies could be the future of food?

Aquaponics

3D OceanFarming

RoboticFarming

 

   Knowledge is power. It's only when we start to understand something and form our own opinions that we can make positive changes. Ask questions, have conversations, keep learning, keep adjusting, keep an open mind and let’s make caring about the sustainability of our food a part of everyday life.    

  Sign up for newsletters. Get on the socials and start reading, sharing, liking and talking. Here are some of our favourite people to follow on Twitter, where you'll find more information, but most of them have beautiful and informative Instagrams too:

        @landworkersalliance@soilassociation@fao

               @UKsustain@foodethicsnews, @foodsystemsacademy

 

              Keep learning! Here are some great resources for you to explore.

 

  • Food Unfolded: An exciting and fascinating exploration of all things food, from science to technology, farming to nutrition.
     

  • Food Savvy: A hub for delicious, affordable, healthy and climate friendly food.
     

  • Food Systems Academy:  An entirely free resource of talks from the countries leading experts.
     

  • The Sustainable Food Trust: So many informative articles. Sign up to their newsletter now!
     

  • The Landworkers Alliance: Great news blogs from these heroes. 

 

Action happens when action is normalised.

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