Trust in our instincts : Conference bloggers : Soil Association

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Trust in our instincts

Rob Haward - 02 March 2012

Rob HawardIt’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 – ‘Science 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.

Perhaps this is most poignantly articulated when you talk to the many Mums who choose to feed their kids organic food. They don’t really care that scientist would have us believe that there is limited evidence that pesticides are not proven to be bad for our health. This scientific justification holds little sway against the maternal extinct and inherent common sense that food sprayed with chemicals is probably best avoided.

Rob is Managing Director at Riverford where he spends his time planning crops for its national box scheme.

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