Friday, 20 June 2008

*London must take action to prevent future food crises

Steep rises in oil prices will profoundly change the entire London food system, predicts Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones. Lifestyle changes will include ditching the drive to the out-of-town supermarket, buying less perishable air freighted imported food and more local, seasonal produce with reduced meat and dairy, planned shopping lists, and reusing of leftover food.

Oil is vital for the production and consumption of conventional food. It is used in fertilizers, growing, transportation, car journeys to supermarkets, indirectly in cooking, and in disposing of food waste. The price of oil is at an historic high of $135 dollars a barrel. With no sign of sustainable reversal, this is thirteen times more than it was in 1999. It is estimated that food inflation has added £750 to the annual family food bill, since last year. Londoners throw away over half million tonnes of wasted food (approx 0.665 million tonnes) a year. This is around a fifth of all the waste put into bins.

Jenny warns:
" London's food system is unsustainable. The London Mayor and Government have to recognize that that food abundance enjoyed in the west, and the cheap food era is over. They need to plan now to grow far more sustainable food in London, both in the green belt and in open spaces within the urban area. This will help make London's food supply less dependent on oil. It is necessary to ensure that Londoners can continue to buy sufficient food at reasonable prices, without facing crises of food shortages and high food inflation."

" We Londoners can't afford to throw away a third of all our food and neither can the planet. We import too much, waste too much and eat too much of the carbon intensive foods such as meat and dairy which contribute significantly to climate change. We could easily reduce this waste by planning shopping lists, cooking correct portion sizes and re-using food leftovers for casseroles, soups and curries. "


Derek Wall said...

Take a look at the stuff on Cuba, they were forced to go green when the cheap oil from USSR stopped when the soviet union collapsed..any way on the web on a little cyber crusade commenting every where...
I have posted an appeal for Green Party members to support the Kingsnorth Climate camp, you can read it here

Barkingside 21 said...

Every cloud has a silver lining...

Economic crises can have health benefits