The insidious creep of globalisation touches all of us in so many ways. And although we have the power yet to change it, our window of opportunity is closing, with most yet to realise its indifferent destructiveness.
Yet even the food we eat is spoiled by its touch.
Take Poland for instance. It has a rich tradition of healthy food produce, locally farmed and processed. But for the big multi-nationals that is nothing but a big fat opportunity. An opportunity to consolidate, to aggregate and trim. To reduce three million Polish farmers to a select few factory farms, mechanised to the gunwales, and with minimal thought for animal welfare or food quality.
Whilst the Polish may have embraced European unity they cannot fail to be disillusioned by the bureaucrats of the EU who far from aiding them are abetting the global banks and agribusinesses as the hungrily eye the fallow food production capacity and juicy fat profits it can generate for them. Those profits pay for glossy Manhattan offices and shareholder bonuses; there will be little thought given to feeding the farmer or his family, nor of helping the Polish government deal with its disaffected unemployed. They serve only their own greed.
Tracy Worcester’s documentary Pig Business tells this story far more movingly than I ever could. You can watch it here (www.pigbusiness.co.uk) and make up your own mind whether the cost of cheap meat is really worth it.
If you make the effort to buy your pork locally – and I don’t mean from the Tesco’s down the road – I mean from a local market or better a farmer, then you are helping to build a sustainable local economy. Retaining a viable local food production capacity is vital, not just from an ecological viewpoint, but from a social and economic viewpoint to. Without it your town, like my town, will become a ghost town full of mobile phone stores and charity shops.
When you buy cheap meat from any major supermarket your money is going to feed the coffers of shareholders. It is supporting asset stripping multi national corporations in their quest for ever greater profit margins.
Buy it from your local farm shop and chances are your money will be spent locally on feeding the farmer’s family; on the children that sit next to yours in class. Not only does that reduce your carbon footprint, it boosts the local economy too.
Four years ago, Worcester, a seasoned campaigner, eco-warrior and mother of three determined to find out the true price for the cheap imported pork for sale in Britain’s supermarkets.
Pig Business reveals the truth behind the BOGOF specials, showing the impact intensive pig-farming is having on the quality of our food, the environment, and the health and welfare of agricultural communities.
Check out Pig Business before your next bacon butty; it’ll change the way you shop. Hopefully it’ll change the way you live.