Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.
Farmers are being advised to spray the chemical Roundup on their mature milling wheat to aid ripening and increase the final protein quality. Will this possible cancer causing chemical end up in our daily bread?
Roundup is an amazing chemical for killing weeds right down to the roots and has been used by farmers and gardeners for over 20 years. It is sprayed directly on to the plant and for up to two weeks nothing happens. Then the plant and everything round it dies leaving a withered, brown, patch. For drive ways and weed infested fields the chemical is brilliant for clearing all living plants to leave bear ground that can be planted with a new crop.
As a farmer I am always very careful when using a chemical this powerful and am not at all surprised that it could cause cancer if ingested. Normally the chances of this are extremely slim as the chemical is used and a new crop is planted and harvested months after the chemical was applied to the field.
Unfortunately with GM crops this is not the case, the chemical can be applied right up until harvest meaning the chemical on the food not the weeds or soil. Likewise the news that UK agronomists are advising farmers to spray roundup on nearly mature milling wheat crops to aid the even ripening to produce a higher overall protein and increase price means the chemical is actually getting on the wheat that produces flour and our bread.
Luckily many farmers are refusing to spray due to news of the possible link to cancer but some may spray and the chemical get on the wheat.
To me this is typical of a profit focused food industry, long supply chains, where foods become commodities and as a consequence where food scares like the horse-meat scandal will occur regularly.
I really hope I am wrong about this food scare but certainly will not be buying non organic bread or flour. And highly recommend you switch to organic bread, or, save money and make your own bread with organic flour. Or even buy some grain from your local farmer who did not use roundup to ripen his crop. For a highly recommended organic stoneground flour producer click here.