Interesting graph from the Climate Safety website this morning, showing Britain’s declining ability to feed itself. It’s not a disaster as long as we’re able to trade, but it is a clear vulnerability in a world of rising oil prices. We’ve been stung by this vulnerability before, albeit under exceptional circumstances, during the war. In the 1930s we were only growing a third of our own food, and it took a huge national drive to up our food production and feed ourselves.
One thing springs to mind however, looking at this graph. Given that we throw away a third of the food we buy, would we be pretty much self-sufficient if we eliminated waste from the system? If we all ate the recommended number of calories, we’d reduce that burden further still. And if Britain’s population stabilised, perhaps a self-sufficient Britain isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
That’s a hypothetical – I don’t think that 100% self-sufficiency should necessarily be a national aim, but it is a useful measure of resilience.