Growing Futures (formerly known as Incredible Edible Mytholm) was pleased to be asked to take part in the Calderdale Assembly on Shaping Food Culture in Calderdale on October 8th. This was organised by the Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board and the Growing Futures Chair and Secretary attended.
The Assembly focussed on the epidemic of obesity and diabetes that has resulted from our current dysfunctional food system. There was discussion of the need for an effective public health programme to tackle this epidemic. There was also a recognition that the current food system is destroying the environment and local food businesses as well as public health, and any solution to problems generated by our current food system will have to be far broader than a public health programme.
Growing Futures is working to help create a fair, affordable, sustainable food system in the Upper Calder Valley that will replace the current dysfunctional food system, although this is obviously a national and international problem as well as a local one.
Based on intensive, high carbon, large scale farming, and driven by profiteering corporations, the current food system is:
- destroying the soil and biodiversity,
- displacing whole communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America through corporate land grabs that are supported by G8 governments – including the UK government,
- accelerating climate change through high carbon emissions from farming
- wasting an unbelievable 30-50% of food globally,
- profiteering from the production and sale of junk food that has caused an epidemic of obesity and diabetes in industrialised nations
- exploiting the labour of almost all the people who work for a minimum wage in the food industry – from farm and land workers, through food processing employees, to shop workers.
And that’s before we get on to the issue of land ownership and EU farm subsidies.