menu

Jay Rayner: Sustainable Super Farms Are The Future

Jay Rayner: Sustainable Super Farms Are The Future
Retail

A food critic argues that a focus on local, seasonal and organic won't feed the world's growing population.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 16 september 2010

In an opinion piece for the UK’s Observer, restaurant critic and a novelist Jay Rayner counters the argument for local food. He says that small batch food will be luxury available for the middle classes and that we have to consider how to adapt large scale agriculture to feed our large populations with a diet that’s healthy for us, the animals and plants we eat and the land they come from.

It’s clear to me that we risk replacing a culture of a cheap and plentiful present with one of hyper-expense and scarcity in just a few years’ time… 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.

…[The UK is a] country suited to dairy farming [but] is no longer self-sufficient in milk. We’re importing the stuff. The solution, embracing of the kind of super dairy proposed at Nocton Heath in Lincolnshire, which will house more than 8,000 cows, bedded down indoors on sand, is met with howls of derision because it’s not “natural”. The dairy farmers I’ve talked to may take issue with it for the impact it could have on smaller farms, but none of them sees animal welfare as an issue. Unhappy, ill animals do not produce milk, so it’s not in the farm’s interests to mistreat them or shorten their lifespan. Also, the carbon footprint of such a large facility may actually be many times smaller than that of the traditional dairy farm.

If we are to survive the coming food security storm, we will have to embrace unashamedly industrial methods of farming. We need to abandon the mythologies around agriculture, which take the wholesome marketing of high-end food brands at face value – farmer in smock, ear of corn, happy pig – and recognise that farming really is an industry, much like car manufacturing or steel forging, one which always works better on a mass scale, but which can still be managed sustainably.

Bespoke is fine for those with deep pockets. As for the rest, we live on a small, overpopulated island with a growing head count and for many big is the only way to go.

Observer: Big agriculture is the only option to stop the world going hungry

Retail
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Sasha Orloff

Lending, Social Good, Education

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.