Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Nursery food

"You are what you eat" is a simple statement that gets right to the heart of the relationship between our landscape, society, human health and economy. Eat good, wholesome food from your local area - and of course a balanced diet, and the short and long term health benefits are immense.

It seemed to take our society about 25 years to work out that in fact we may not be giving our children the best food at school, and that this has a huge impact on learning, behaviour and grades. Fortunately this has been addressed on a national scale, led by people like Jamie Oliver and carried on by great projects such as Food for Life.

We've also realised that perhaps hospitals are not providing the best food to help patients recover, though sadly this has not been addressed on a national scale.

It's particularly shocking then that children in Nurseries appear to be fed on absolute rubbish right up and down the country. The Soil Association report Georgie, Porgie, Pudding and Pie found that many nurseries were spending as little as 25p per child on food. Much of this food had additives and ingredients banned under school nutritional standards.

The effect that such poor food has on young developing minds and bodies can't be underestimated. Trends towards weight gain and obesity start in the under 5's, so we're saving up massive health problems for society in the future if such trends continue.

A "Better Nursery Food" campaign has begun here: http://www.nurseryfood.org/

Saturday, 16 January 2010


When the decision to build a third runway at Heathrow was announced individuals, NGO's, politicians and local people all rallied against the proposals to stop further airport expansion.

Air travel is an enormous and rapidly growing source of global carbon emissions that has massive implications for climate change. Further and unchecked growth will lead to ever faster rates of global temperature rise and disasterous consequences.

One highly inspred action was the acquisition of a plot of land at Sipson in Middlesex, right in the heart of the proposed runway development. This plot of land now has over 60,000 co-owners, meaning to acquire the site the developers must evict every owner!!

The action has been co-ordinated by Greenpeace and is called Airplot. It's a Gandhian-inspired piece of non-violent action and has huge symbolic significance.

Have a look at the video and if you would like to get involved simply go to the website and sign up as a plot owner - it's free and very quick.


I recently went to a Cornish organic farmers and growers' low carbon farming event at Cusgarne Organics near Truro. The farm is beautiful, set in a secluded valley away from main roads, producing veg boxes, beef, eggs and chickens. They've also planted up more orchards and some nut trees including sweet chestnuts and almonds.

One really interesting project was Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil from the surrounding area. "Biodiesel Dave" from Cleaner Combustion produces this stuff in a workshop on the farm to a high standard - i.e. that can be run in modern cars, not just dirty old Land Rovers and tractors.

It certainly gave me a further jolt of inspiration for use of waste oils to power machinery. The photo (above) on the side of his car, whilst going against the ethos of healthy organic food, gave everyone a laugh!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

In Transition video

Transition Network have recently released a film about Transition initiatives - the principles and practices, featuring ideas and people from different parts of the world.

The first part is available free below

In Transition 1.0 from Transition Towns on Vimeo.