Food resources in the UK

There is enough food to feed everyone on the planet, but globally there are still 1 billion people experiencing food insecurity. Food supply and consumption are not evenly distributed.

The UK does have food security. Around 40% of the UK's food has been imported and much of it has been processed.

The growing demand for food imports

In the past, people ate food that was in season, eg cabbages and leeks in the winter and tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer. Nowadays, people in wealthier nations can eat any type of food at any point in the year. Heated greenhouses allow crops to grow out of season and cold storage allows food to be transported from other parts of the world. Trans-national corporations (TNCs) work in several different countries, processing food and exporting it across the globe.

Imported food brings a range of exotic products into British supermarkets.

The demand for organic produce

Organic foods are grown without using any chemicals. They use natural fertilisers, such as animal manure, and natural predators instead of chemical pesticides. The consumption of organic produce has risen in the UK as fewer people are prepared to eat food that has been sprayed with harsh chemicals.

When farmland is converted to become organic, yields initially drop, but then they can improve to similar levels as non-organic crops. Organic farms are environmentally sustainable, in that they don't use artificial chemicals. Some people believe that organic farming is unsustainable as it can lead to a greater use of land area.