Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.
“Utter madness” is a typical statement from Jeremy Clarkson but does sum up Oxford County Council’s policy to ensure that all food at council catered events and meetings is “entirely plant-based, preferably using ingredients sourced from local food surplus organisations”. BBC article here
We, like many other local farmers, are angry by this blinkered and almost ignorant decision based on ‘climate change action’. We should NOT compare cows with cars (blog and videos here)
The Council are wrong because people should have a choice, but mainly because ‘vegan’ is not necessarily the most sustainable or healthy option. Especially if ‘local food surpluses’ are past best-by supermarket ready meals or foreign fruit and veg.
And what about mixed organic farmers who are doing the right thing for the planet by regenerating their soils with a rotation of grains, vegetables and animals. Or farmers on the moors, hills or highlands, who can only produce sheep, cattle and game in a perfectly balanced and sustainable ecosystem.Other news from the same day included the NHS agreeing to take pheasants as a great source of protein for hospital menus. More from British Game Assurance here
Typical British government joined up thinking??
What we need, and what BigBarn has been working on for 22 years, is a more enlightened government, and society, that make better food buying choices.
Oxford CC should scrap their vegan silliness and instead opt to buy a wide range of local produce from sustainable, or organic, farmers who are regenerating their soils and providing an increasing number of employment and skills opportunities for local people.
They should also get food growing, cooking, nutrition and trade, in to all schools to educate kids about food, who then influence their families. Previous blog here
Council, farmers and schools can then communicate this better way and get more people buying food from sustainable farms. This will have a knock on effect of encouraging more farmers to convert to sustainable practices.
All cutting food miles, waste, emissions, and pollution. And even NHS costs as the nation’s health improves.