Thursday, 13 June 2013

Beginning to feel it?

The Guardian reports that, this year,  English farmers expect to import 2.5m tonnes of wheat, whereas usually 2.5m tonnes of wheat is exported.  With the weather also having effects on apples, sugar beet and other crops.  Honeybees in England have also suffered, with a third of colonies being reported to have failed over the winter and the loss of pollinators will also have an impact on food production.
 While this is not catastrophic in itself, it seems to me that, with the changes in arctic summer sea ice, which has been linked by the Met Office to the recent weather, this trend is likely to continue.  As climate change affects other countries ,like the US and Russia, who are major food exporters and their crops suffer, it seems almost certain that food prices will rise. 
With the current financial crisis and more people in the UK being reliant on Food Banks and people in Greece, Spain and other places really struggling, then people will really suffer. 
Our current food system seems so fragile.  We really need to be adapting, sowing hardier crops such as rye, barley (or bere), black oats etc.  There needs to be much more support for home growing and seed swapping etc and much more of it. 
If we do not begin to do this now, it will be much harder later and I fear the consequences could be more extreme. 

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