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bodger

I've said it before on here

and I'll say it again. I've got a lot of time for this bloke. What he says invariably makes sense.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33831639
Toddy

I do too, but I am conscious that people who live on tight budgets can't afford to feed their families 'organic, free range, etc., etc.,' while they can afford to feed them healthily on the supermarket specials. Chicken breasts for under a pound to feed a family just now, kind of thing.
Try rearing chickens in a tower block….s'not easy for everyone.

I know that that's contentious is this audience, but it's very much the reality for many if not most.

Then up pops the POW and folks attack him instead of listening to the message right through and putting it in context.

Personally I think he's right about the small farmers not getting enough help, and that more should be done to encourage people to grow, rear and just be aware of where our food actually comes from.

M
bodger

It'll be too late when the skills, traditional breeds and just as importantly, the people have gone.
I'm lucky in where I live. I don't think I could be happy living surrounded by concrete nor would I expect my livestock to be.
I would imagine that just about everyone here on OTG, in some way or another is doing their little bit of tradition going, so keep the faith!
I find it reassuring when someone like HRH sticks his head up above the parapet. Its sort of means that its not just us misty eyed plebs who think this way.
hughesy

Yeah good old Charlie. He talks a lot of sense. How many acres does his smallholding have?
bodger

I think he's just got an allotment these days.
hughesy

It's great that he thinks of these kind of issues but in reality how many people are going to go out today thinking " I must find a small farmer to buy my groceries from"? The problem small farmers and/or smallholders have is that far too many are not actually trying to make a viable business out of what they have and are just playing at it. So when a serious small farmer stands up to be counted he isn't taken seriously. It's great that some of the old ways are being kept alive by the "smallholder" but in reality a lot of those methods and activities have died out because they're not practical or cost effective any more.
bodger

Obviously not the majority of people but more and more people these days make a conscious effort to find out how their food is produced and as a result, small ethical food producers are gaining a following. Its still early days yet and because of the economics of the home, I don't think its ever going to be mainstream.
Just as long as the farmer got most of it, I'd willingly pay two quid for four pints of milk but again, that's because I can afford too.
Toddy

I too would pay it if I knew the farmer was getting the majority of the money, and not some huge supermarket chain with overpaid 'directors'.
Thing is though that the whole milk industry is so hidebound with rules and restrictions that very few local farmers can jump through the necessary hoops to be allowed to sell their milk.

One of my friends is a biochemist, and she worked part time in Wiseman's Dairies laboratories when her daughters were infants. Their science staff work shifts to cover the whole 24/7/365. They constantly monitor the milk coming in, it's storage and it's eventual packaging and delivery. A lot of it is disposed as 'unfit', and that's in a company which does watch the pennies, does have good equipment, does have (relatively) short farm to dairy distances.
The adulterants that can make milk unsaleable aren't just things like antibiotics, but bacteria (I'm paranoid about it since Trish worked there. Did you know that the bacteria in milk can literally double in the time it takes for people to get it home from the supermarket to their own fridge ? just that degree or so of temperature rise is crucial to the quality) too much cleaning fluid on the pumps, or debris….there's a lot of stuff we just don't think of, but the scientists need to check for.

In the past folks drank the local milk (my Father refused to drink it in the 1920's and 30's since TB was rife and he reckoned they got it from the milk, turns out it was certainly a vector) and they built up the gut bacteria that gave them immunity to much of the potential problems. Folks don't do that now; children don't do that now.

Part of me honestly believes that maybe they should.

M
hughesy

bodger wrote:
Obviously not the majority of people but more and more people these days make a conscious effort to find out how their food is produced and as a result, small ethical food producers are gaining a following. Its still early days yet and because of the economics of the home, I don't think its ever going to be mainstream.
Just as long as the farmer got most of it, I'd willingly pay two quid for four pints of milk but again, that's because I can afford too.


Completely agree. I'm one of those small producers so I have to have faith in the whole idea. I too would happily pay much more for items such as milk as long as I knew the extra wasn't going into the supermarket's pocket. In my experience of retailing the meat I produce cost is never an issue that customers are concerned about. They want to know where it's come from and how it was produced but almost never comment on the price.
brummie nick

bodger wrote:
I think he's just got an allotment these days.


and Camilla does most of the digging I've heard.  
bodger

Nah ! She just keeps the birds off the crops.

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