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Can Sustainable Farming Feed The UK?

A report by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, released this week, debunks the myth that sustainable farming can’t feed the UK.

Based on modelling by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, the report suggests that the UK could grow, through agro-ecology, enough healthy food to feed the predicted 2050 population, while doubling fallow land for nature and reducing farming emissions by 38 percent.

In a nutshell, yes, sustainable farming can feed the UK population. The catch? A shift in eating habits, with a 36 percent reduction in meat consumption, the near-elimination of sugar and an increase in fruit, vegetable and nuts. A 10 percent reduction in waste and the removal of chemical sprays would also be necessary.

A 36 percent reduction in meat consumption is hardly a tough challenge. Brits would just have to cut meat from their diet 2 to 3 days per week. And, whilst most adults have shifted away from their sugar habit, the government would likely be required to drive the change to the near-elimination of sugar.

Doubling fallow land is an important part of the thinking as UK needs to turn over significantly more land for rewilding to allow nature to recover and flourish.


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