Baylor College Medical School

Pg 3. 4, and 5 Big Agriculture is the Only Option to Stop the World Going Hungry by Jay Rayner

(Paragraph 3)  We need to look seriously at how we produce our food and how we eat it. Our self-sufficiency has dropped in the past decade from north of 70% to around 60%, according to official figures. Many experts think it may actually be nearer to just 50%. We import 60% of our vegetables. If this drift continues, we will be left exposed to the sort of events that triggered the riots in Africa. We need to make difficult decisions which a lot of people who regard themselves as serious foodies may find deeply unappetising. And we need to make them fast.

(Paragraph 4) Any consumer of gastroporn in print, online and on our TV screens would imagine we were already having this debate. Words such as local, seasonal and organic have become a holy trinity. But these are merely lifestyle choices for the affluent middle-classes, a matter of aesthetics, and nothing to do with the real issues. Start in the fruit aisle of your supermarket. The major supermarkets are not inherently evil. On balance, they probably help our lives more than they hinder them, but they only respond to consumer demand and what the consumer demands is not always right.


(Paragraph 5)  Look at the bags of perfect fruit, shiny, unblemished, the supermodels of the apple world. They only look like that because of the grading out of fruit which, while perfectly edible, is not comely enough for harried shoppers. In Kent recently, I met David Deme, for decades an apple farmer, who a few years ago decided he had to stop supplying supermarkets because he was being forced to "grade out" 30% to 40% of his fruit. He found this unacceptable and chose to move into a premium market, by making apple juice. Other English apple growers have similar stories to tell.


Questions:  What does it say?           What does it mean?         What does it matter"

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Paragraph 3

Food self sufficiency in Britain has dropped

Britain has to import more food.

Britain can't rely on local food producers to feed the population and keep prices down. 


Paragraph 4

Wealthy and middle class people wholove to read about quaint local farming practices have no idea how the world's food supply works. 

Britain would starve if the country shifted to the small agricultural model.


This matters because the author is stating that there is no alternative to the pesticide ridden Industrial food model.