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Poisoned apples are not just for fairy tales – Greenpeace report finds pesticides all around us

Marianne Landzettel: It’s been 53 years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ in which she described the detrimental effect of indiscriminate pesticide use on the environment. Carson was concerned about the use of DDT to fight malaria and other insect born diseases and because of the dangers to the environment and human health. Its use today is heavily regulated and restricted. It’s been 50 years since pesticides became a main staple in ‘conventional’ agriculture. According to a recent report by Greenpeace* 'millions of tons and hundreds of types of synthetic chemical pesticides’ are applied every year in what the report calls agriculture’s ‘pesticide addiction’.

11 November 2015 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 3

Government lifts ban on bee harming pesticides

Louise Payton: The Government’s recent decision to overturn a ban on bee damaging insecticides is outrageous. It goes against the explicit wishes of half a million people who told the government not to give in to pressure from the NFU and agrochemical companies, and it goes against science.

03 August 2015 | 5 Comments | Recommended by 2

Toxic chemicals in our daily bread: ban glyphosate now

Natasha Collins Daniel: Spraying a probable carcinogen on food crops to kill them so they can be harvested faster – it sounds ridiculous – but it’s happening all across the UK on the wheat that makes our bread, flour and other things like biscuits. It gets worse. The weed killer in question, glyphosate, was recently classified by the World Health Organisation’s IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) as a probable carcinogen for humans – and new data analysis shows it’s appearing more and more frequently in our bread.

23 July 2015 | 8 Comments | Recommended by 1

'Pesticides and our health' – Greenpeace study finds plenty of cause for concern

Marianne Landzettel: Occasionally you remember exactly what made you look at an issue in a different light. For me one such moment was listening to an interview with Klaas Martens, a US grain farmer in the state of New York. The last time he sprayed his fields with pesticides was in spring of 1994, Martens said. It was late afternoon when he tried to fold the sprayer and realised he could not move his right arm. ‘It was never proven that that’s what caused it, but common sense tells me that I was poisoned that day’.

05 June 2015 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 2

Seasonal thoughts – why cheap food is costing us dearly

Marianne Landzettel: Sunday supplements are brimming with recipe ideas for festive dinners, supermarket shelves are stacked high with seasonal favourites and tempting offers like 3 for 2 deals. Combine this with the steady stream of worrying news about the world economy being on the precipice of another downturn and it is clear why there’s a demand for cheap food. But while we enjoy getting more for less, maybe it’s also time to ask who ultimately pays for cheap food? The answer is: we all do, though not at the supermarket till.

24 November 2014 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 20

A breath of life for bees

Amy Leech: Today’s news that Waitrose are suspending the use of the three neonicotinoids in their supply chain is a ray of hope for the bees amidst predictably grey skies and gloomy headlines.

12 April 2013 | 7 Comments | Recommended by 9

The birds and the bees - a fact of life?

Amy Leech: The birds and the bees...that’s life, or so we say – as we try to explain the ways of nature in a way that saves our blushes, and our children’s ears from hearing the facts of life too early. They’ll soon learn of course. But when will we?

18 June 2012 | 9 Comments | Recommended by 6

Trust in our instincts

Rob Haward: It’s not often you hear Churchill quoted at a Soil Association conference but I found it heartening to hear Helen Browning use his words to describe the role that science should play in the future of food and farming – ‘on tap, not on top’. Organic farmers and growers, supported ably by the Soil Association, have a proud history of trusting extinct over accepted scientific ‘wisdom’. In the pursuit of innovation based on a sound evidence base we must be wary that we don’t lose the confidence to make judgements based on common sense, instinct and sound principles.

02 March 2012 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 4

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