95% of UK food retail is sold through nine supermarket chains.
Of all the money spent in British supermarkets, only about 20% goes to the farmer (if they’re lucky).
Food is sold at tiny margins, often at a loss, and workers are paid less than living wages.
Farmers and farm workers are frequently exposed to harmful chemicals and face unfair or unsafe working conditions.
Over one billion people are starving or hungry; while over one billion people are overweight or obese. Diet-related disease is putting an intolerable strain on our nations’ health and finances.
Humanity has wiped out 68% of global wildlife since 1970.
The global food system is the single biggest contributor to biodiversity loss, deforestation, drought, freshwater pollution and the collapse of aquatic wildlife (and the second-biggest contributor to climate change, after the energy industry – responsible for 25-30% of global emissions, swamping the mere 3.5% contributed by air travel).
And for all of this, in the developed world, we throw away 40% of what we’ve bought…
– Alex Geldenhuys, New Dawn Traders
– Laurence Jarrett-Kerr, Soul Farm
– Suzy Russell, communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk
– HRH The Prince of Wales (I didn’t actually interview him, though)
Have something to say about these issues, or anything else ROOTSy for that matter? Email [email protected] before 20 January 2022 with a quick outline to explain how you’d like to contribute to the next issue.
Adventure, escape, solace, the unknown. For centuries writers have captured the water that covers two thirds of the world’s surface in a certain way. And as readers we have revelled in it. But in the age of the climate crisis, is the time for romanticising the ocean long gone?
Folk musician Angeline Morrison is getting ready to record a new body of British folk song: a powerful and evocative telling of black British history. The project and its title take some of their inspiration from two events in 1903, revealing aspects of our history that have long hidden in plain sight.
Fresh from a winning streak on Sky Arts’ compelling public art contest, Landmark, and with a commission from Yorkshire Sculpture Park under his belt, you’d be forgiven for thinking Sheffield artist Steve Anwar has been making sculptures all his life. Just two years since he focused his attention on the art form, he sheds light on the ideas and forces that have helped forge his work…
What helps you create? Whether it’s writing, drawing, shooting or even whittling, for so many of us, music makes the world go round. In fact, we couldn’t imagine working without it. Fascinated by how other creative souls get stuff done, we decided to unpick this causal connection by speaking to different creators about their practice, process and how music fuels their fire.
Falmouth-based botanical illustrator – and this issue’s cover artist – Sarah Jane Humphrey’s exquisitely detailed drawings capture the magic that happens when natural science and artistic inspiration meet. When a mesmerising encounter with an “underwater garden” of illuminated seaweed coincided with a lockdown gift of uninterrupted studio time, she embarked on an unexpected voyage of personal and professional discovery…
For too long we have focused on what we can do with water, how we can use it, profit from it, control it. We spoke to anthropologist Dr Luci Attala about caring for water and relinquishing our imagined control…
As icy mornings bring shivers, frosted windows and a longing for blanket warmth, it’s hard to believe that just two months ago we were racing into the Atlantic for a dawn dip.
Since then, we’ve been thinking about the role of the ocean in fiction, inspired by our At First Light talk on the sea and creativity. For author and At First Light speaker Tom Vowler, the sea represents a character, an atmosphere, a role that provides more than place, which interacts with the psychology of the characters: "More and more, my characters came to depend on the sea, or sought solace in the sea."
So we asked our League of Strangers for some recommendations…add these titles to your list for a dose of sea salt-infused reading.