AGRICULTURE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Biometrics is relevant to the world of flora and fauna, as well as having implications for human beings. Our planet, as time passes is proven not to be able to cope with the number of people living on it, let alone in the future, factoring in even modest population expansion. Population explosions are well underway despite certain medical advances and of course, contraception.

Genetically modified crops[1] it is fair to say, possibly received too much criticism when they first landed (or rather were artificially conceived) in the late 1990s. Now, as long as humans live in such overcrowded towns and cities, we will always be on a quest for sustainable food sources. Relevantly, the oil price is seeing a strong rebound since the aftermath of BP’s Gulf oil spill and OPEC/ Saudi refusal to cut production at a nexus moment in the price behaviour cycle back in 2014/15. As is the case with oil the homo-sapiens has an insatiable appetite for foodstuff.

Despite prophesy that crops and cereals were perhaps yesterday’s solution, they seem to be making a robust comeback. Tasty variations with cross-polenization of flavourings have revived the popularity of cereals and seasonal vegetables, which can be frozen and shipped all over the world 24/7/365.

Unfortunately and not a little ironically, the choice and convenience in less healthy foodstuffs is expanding our collective waste band, reducing our propensity to exercise and overall, not doing us any favours. Meanwhile we have to trade in decadent and lazy lifestyles in order to stay healthy. Think cereals and vegetables and do your bit to reduce salt, sugar and cocoa imports. Here’s hoping.

Agriculture and the EU — Doom or Boom?

The farmer is an idiosyncratic character and I would advocate their hard work ethic to any other worker, anywhere in the country, indeed the world.

I manage (more occasionally these days) to move in a number of circles but I don’t often meet farmers. Shame on me.

With the land on a tiny island and inelastic demand for said acreage, including a high number of foreign domiciled buyers the farmer per se, will unlikely find him or herself destitute (!).

Indeed somebody in central London with a stressful career in the city for example is (a) more likely to suffer health problems and (b) more likely to encounter psychological difficulties, such is the havoc that mental health wreaks…over long time periods of time as well. Politicians speak of mental health with assertion, action on the other hand is sadly absent, as austerity bites deep.

Part of the cause of these two afflictions is poor diet and lack of exercise. QED.

Robert Peach

24th February 2017

[1] The first purveyor of these was Monsanto of the US, which yesterday announced it was being purchased by Bayer AG of Germany for a whacking $66bn.

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