Well 2021 turned out to be pretty much like 2020 thanks to Covid19 so let’s try and sing another song in 2022!
Not our favourite thing! For a good few years now we have been watching the alternative-to-plastic market. It’s getting better but it still has a way to go. Bio-degradable bags come in 2 types: oxy biodegradable and hydro biodegradable. As an aside if you see a bag that says it is Degradable that is just ordinary plastic which will, over a very considerable amount of time become brittle and fall to pieces when it is exposed to oxygen and sunlight.
Controversy rages between Scientists and Plastics manufacturers but also between Scientists and Scientists. But basically some say that Oxy biodegradable plastic leaves micro plastics and Hydro biodegradable releases Methane!
At Lane Cottage we have also looked at compostable bags. Unfortunately some are so opaque that the salad cannot be seen unless you open the bag. Also the minimum order quantity far exceeds what we get through in a year and the bags will start to decompose before the year is up so we will have a lot of decomposing bags on our hands! The increase in cost is significant – up from 3p to 26p per bag. So, for the time being we are forced to stick with our recyclable bags. It is, however, good to see so many things being made out of recycled plastic and our bags do remain re-usable for quite some time.
It keeps rearing its head though, doesn’t it? As much as we say to eachother “we’re not going to mention the Covid” there it goes again.
As a result of the C word and Brexit the cost of living has increased dramatically. Energy and food appear to be the biggest culprits but there will be more along the way.
So, to the cost of food which, of course, we have a vested interest in. It seems that supermarkets will continue to squeeze suppliers and increase prices to the consumer which all keeps the shareholders happy. But where does that leave us?
Salad growing on an industrial scale is a sterile and mechanical process. Treated seed is sown into poor soil ( so called enriched with artificial fertilizer) , regularly sprayed with pesticides and insecticides, harvested by huge machines, washed in chlorine and bagged with gas in an attempt to make it last longer than 3 days. It is on the shelves of the supermarket that you will find most of this salad.
Modern industrial farming methods are contributing to a huge range of ailments our population is prone to – Diabetes, Obesity, auto immune disorders of several kinds and of course, the big one, Cancer.
There are others, like ourselves, who believe our food should be grown in a different way: untreated and Organic seed sown into healthy soil, no fertilzers needed just a bit of sunshine and Spring water, hand-picked, unwashed and bagged in fresh air. The end product is far superior in nutrient value and taste. However, I read recently of an apparently successful farm producing good quality food for their Box scheme. They had plenty of customers, they worked all hours but they assumed they were doing okay. When they actually sat down and costed it all out they realised that they were paying themselves just £3 per hour!
However, we all are constrained in what we can expect to be paid for our produce when the supermarkets are so powerful. If we were to charge a proper, workable price that afforded us a realistic salary for the hours we work we probably wouldn’t sell much salad!
Having said that , at Lane Cottage we believe there is no such thing as cheap food. If it’s cheap on the supermarket shelf it’s expensive to the supplier, the environment and to your body. Better, we believe to pay a few more coins and know that your body and your Planet are thanking you for it.
It looks like many of us will have to make difficult choices as our money won’t go as far as usual for a while. However, there is an alternative to the industrial farm produce. We think you are lucky if you have that choice.