The Cost of Cheap Food
The true cost of cheap, unhealthy food is a spiralling public health crisis, according to a new report.
A recent report by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, said that farmers need to move away from intensive farming to more organic and wildlife-friendly production, as well as growing more nuts and pulses.
The report also suggests a National Nature Service should be created to give opportunities for young people to work in the countryside and tackle the climate crisis.
'Time is now running out. The actions that we take in the next 10 years are critical: to recover and regenerate nature and to restore health and wellbeing to both people and planet,' said the commission.
The report was supported by Michael Gove, Environmental Secretary.
He said: 'This report raises issues that are hugely important. We know that it is in the interests of farmers and landowners to move to a more sustainable model.' He added that the government’s agriculture bill would reward farmers with public money for public goods and a new 'farm to fork' food review would look to ensure everyone had access to healthy British food.
A new online tool can help individuals see how much pollution would be removed by planting trees in local areas.
The Pollution Removal tool creates locally relevant information out of national data of tree coverage. It can help NGOs, councils, and other organisations with planting more trees.
Scientists at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) teamed up with environmental economics consultancy Eftec to develop the tool, which shows the existing amount of woodland in each local authority in hectares, how much particulate matter the trees remove from the air and the resulting predicted public health cost-saving within that area.
CEH group leader Professor Laurence Jones said: 'There is a lot of public concern about the potential health risks that pollution poses in many urban areas of the UK.
'While reducing harmful emissions at source is the best way to improve air quality, the addition of vegetation can play a role in removing pollutants within a local area.'
Eftec director Ian Dickie said: 'We regularly hear political commitments to plant more trees in urban areas – our new online tool will inform and support the efforts by the local and central government, NGOs, businesses and individuals in adding trees in our towns and cities.'
You can check out the online tool here.