KENTPRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday 4th February 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192
LOCAL FOOD – OR EVEN HIGHER FOOD PRICES
Energy bills have been raised by 15% by most energy companies in recent weeks. Higher oil and gas prices will add to the already rising cost of food. Climate change, causing more extreme weather events, is also major factor raising food prices. Kent’s potential for the production of local food supplies needs to be fully realized, to keep food prices down by reducing the distance over which they are transported. We could feed more people in Kent, from Kent(1). Since higher energy bills also mean more people in fuel poverty, keeping food prices down is very important for household budgets, so that people can afford good diets. Steve Dawe comments:
“The cheapest food is what you are able to grow yourself. If it is not transported, it can be both organic and carbon free. But few of us can produce all the food we need. There are some basic principles which can be applied to the whole of Kent and Medway.
“1. Buy local, seasonally available ingredients as standard, reducing energy used in food
production, transport and storage (2). Farmers markets and village vegetable shops will often be the best sources.
2. Buy organic produce.
3. Reduce the amount of foods of animal origin (meat, dairy products and eggs) eaten, as livestock farming is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, and eat meals rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses, wholegrains and nuts. Ensure that meat, dairy products and eggs are produced to high environmental and animal welfare standards..
4. Stop buying fish species identified as most ‘at risk’ by the Marine Conservation Society
5. Choose Fairtrade-certified products for foods and drinks imported from poorer countries.
6. Avoid bottled water and instead drink plain or filtered tap water, to minimise transport and
7. Protect your and your family’s health and well-being by making sure your meals are made up of generous portions of vegetables, fruit and starchy staples like wholegrains, cutting down on salt, fats and oils, and cutting out artificial additives(3)(4).” ENDS
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or mobile 07747 036192. Contact address as above.
Simon Fairlie – Can Britain feed itself? The Land (journal) – Winter 2007-2008 edition. See also: the Soil Association: http://www.soilassociation.org
2. To see which foods are in season, see, for example: http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/
3. Adapted from Sustain, the Alliance for Food and Farming, website document: Eat well and save the planet! A guide for consumers on how to eat greener, healthier and more ethical food At: http://www.sustainweb.org/pdf/SFG_Consumers.pdf
4. Further relevant information can be found on these websites: of Compassion in World Farming’s Eat Less Meat campaign: http://www.eatlessmeat.org ; Marine Conservation Society
(http://www.fishonline.org/advice/avoid ), and buy fish only from sustainable sources – such as
those accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org ). . For information about the environmental problems associated with bottled water, see Sustain’s report: Have you bottled it? How drinking tap water can help save you and the planet - http://www.sustainweb.org/page.php?id=137