Sunday, July 22, 2012
Memories from the days I sold cow food - a comment for the Guardian
Why do we always forget the basics?
Once upon a time, not so long ago, we used to subsidise farming. Why? Because in the early 40's a few not particularly high tech U Boats damn near managed to starve us to death. Why? Because we live on an island - 60 million of us. Is the world volotile? You bet! Does our Navy still rule the waves? Lake Windermere perhaps. All of which means that should things go pear shaped like they did in the early 40's it is a pretty good idea to make sure we can feed ourselves. So why is dairy farming worth propping up? Simple. We can't eat grass! All those fields we see filled with cows are not capable of growing wheat or barley. If they were capable of growing wheat or barley that is exactly what the farmer would be growing. Why lose money on milk when you can make a fat living growing cereal? Dairy farmers turn grass we can't eat into milk, cream, butter and cheese we can eat. One day when the world turns dark again these are the people we will look to to keep our bodies and souls together. How crazy to say banks are too big to fail whilst letting those who put our food on the table go to the wall.