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A tale of two Oxfords…

Peter Melchett: In Oxford this week, two major farming conferences are underway. The newer, forward-looking Oxford Real Farming Conference is discussing innovations in technology that are needed for farming to face the challenges of achieving massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, tackling the horrendous problems of diet-related ill health, and restoring beauty, colour and wildlife to our farmed countryside. Meanwhile, speakers at the much older Oxford Farming Conference seem stuck in a time-warp where for decades almost the only new development in agriculture worth discussing is GM crops, and where an annual attack on organic farming seems to be obligatory.

08 January 2015 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 5

Is organic food better for you? Nutrition, anti-oxidants & new research

Guy Watson: Most of us like to think that our assessment of the world and the decisions we make are based on evidence, rationality and logic. However, we are emotional beings, full of prejudice and ego, with the added complication of media manipulation thrown in. Evidence-based decision making seems laudable, yet removing subjectivity from the evidence selection process itself is near impossible.

18 September 2014 | 7 Comments | Recommended by 7

The stuff we have to put up with....

Lynda Brown: My brother rang last week to alert me to a feature on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show about how because of last year’s atrocious rainy weather, veg hadn’t got any nutrients, and how it was worse for organic veg. What actually happened was that ‘leading scientist’, Professor Mike Gooding, Head of Agricultural Policy and Development at University of Reading was putting it about that fruit and veg and cereals maybe less nutritious and tasty (eg rain leaching out nitrogen means less protein – he was referring mainly to cereals here, less sunshine means less sugars etc). And that though organic growers were more resilient because they grew a more diverse range of crops, organic veg were potentially worse off because they hadn’t got recourse to quick fix artificials.

14 January 2013 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 1

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