Farmers are using

The Real Cost Of Cheap Food

Farms are getting bigger, productivity is going up, but at the same time the very nature of farming is changing and getting further away from what many of us regard as British agricultural tradition.

And as farming has become leaner and more profit driven it has raised concerns that animals and the environment will suffer.

Farming today is at a crossroads do we want to produce more food, more cheaply to feed the world’s growing population or is this the wrong direction for a world scientists warn could be approaching an ecological tipping point?

The UK only produces 40% of the pork it consumes cheap jerseys while the rest comes from abroad.

Farmers like Martin Barker of Midland Pig Producers say we need to scale up to compete with cheap imports produced at lower animal welfare standards. Martin wants to take his revolutionary indoor pig production system to the next level, with proposals for a farm in Foston, Derbyshire, with 2,500 sows.

The proposed piggery would be one of the largest in the country, producing over 50,000 piglets a year this is farming on a scale we haven’t seen before in the UK. Not surprisingly it has met fierce local and national resistance.

Farmers are using innovation to get more corn from our land, more meat from our pigs and more milk from our cows.

Zero grazing dairy farms, where cows are housed 365 days a year and never go out to pasture, is just the latest innovative production method.

But do these increasingly intensive farming methods make any difference to the way things taste? To find out we asked Chef Ed Baines to conduct a taste test comparing pork chops produced in a modern indoor pig farm with those produced on a traditional free range farm.

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