Environmental

From Field to Fork – The importance of where food comes from

From Field to Fork – The importance of where food comes from

Presenter of TV’s Countryfile and farmer Adam Henson has called on the public to utilise their friendships and passion to do help in their community, by helping buyers of food know where produce comes from as he kicked off the second series of Rotary’s togetherTalks.

Adam was the first guest speaker of Rotary’s second series of togetherTalks. He talked enthusiastically about the need to ensure people know where their food comes from.

He introduced his Cotswold Hill Farm Park which opened in 1971 with his father Joe, at the helm. In 1999 Adam took over the park with business partner Duncan, and has since been an ardent advocate of “you are what you eat”.

Together they help to protect some of our rare farm animal breeds, whilst taking a sustainable and authentic approach to British farming. They grow crops for food and ewe sheep produce lamb for the table. So good quality food for the consumer to enjoy.

Adam is very keen to pass on knowledge about food production, farming and wildlife since he feels there is a huge void of knowledge. During wartime, a lot of damage was done to farms, such as removing hedges and other moves, to enable food to be produced quickly and in bulk.

Now children tend to take the origin of their food for granted. Farmers are more careful about their farming methods but he found that some children think “pasta comes from trees and milk from supermarkets”. We need to make more informed choices about what we eat both for our health sake and for the environment.

Adam urged educators to get agriculture onto the school curriculum, to inform, especially with the prevalence of obesity in today’s society. He said “we try to farm the best we can in the light of Brexit and the potential of cheap imported food pushing British produce aside, and to minimise chemicals on products.”

We all eat and drink and it is a social and enjoyable thing but understanding food production is crucial. Education is important here.”

Adam championed the healthier, fresh chicken from the UK compared to American chlorinated chicken that comes from birds raised on unclean pens. The chlorination cleans the chickens and in order to avoid the need to clean the pens as often. British pens are cleaned after every batch of chicks become fully grown.

Also other countries tend to give antibiotics to animals all the time which can encourage resistance to medical help when it’s really needed. There needs to be transparency and traceability. Adam supports Happerley.co.uk, a fast growing movement to empower consumers to instantly know the journey of their food and drink.

Three Take Away Points

In each togetherTalks, we invite guests to give us three take away points. Areas which they would like to see change or actions we can all take to make a difference. Here are Adam’s:

  1. There should be better education for all, about where food comes from to help people make informed choices about what they eat.
  2. There should be more support for schools and inner city farms for accessibility to growing gardens and livestock.
  3. There should be honesty and transparency in food production and supply, and increased awareness and sustainability.

Upcoming events in togetherTalks Series 2

We have a range of guests lined up to take you through until Christmas on series 2 of togetherTalks, covering topics such as microfinance, promoting peace and tackling COVID-19.

Book your place by visiting our Eventbrite page.

 

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