Abattoirs - Increased charges would lead to closures and longer journeys for animals - November 2002
Food Additives - are they good for us?
E-Numbers - links to listings
Genetically Modified Organisms Report - published by DEFRA - December 2002
Post Offices - Pension and Benefit Payments in cash after April 2003 - November 2002
Rail Network - Rural Proofing? - May 2002
Rural cash machines now threatened! - June 2002
Tourism needs brown road signs - August 2002
Burning Issues 2004 - Energy; GM crops
Burning Issues 2003 - 'Fuel Rules! - OK??' New rules on lending tractors and use of red diesel - March 2003
Burning Issues 2001 - Globalisation, the WTO, Foot and Mouth Crisis, Global Sourcing etc
Facts and figuresand
Food Choice - Organic or Conventional?
There has recently been much heated ‘discussion’ in the farming press over the relative merits of organic v. conventional farm produce. While not wishing to take sides in the debate, there are other factors which neither side seem to have taken into account. Most of these factors are the outcome of methods used in storage and processing of food after it has left the farm where it was produced. I have great respect for those producing food to organic specification as well as for those who farm on ‘L.E.A.F.’ principles with minimum chemical input. However, with even a cursory glance down the list of ‘approved’ food additives in the way of artificial preservatives, flavourings and colourings, the reason for food ‘allergies’ and ‘intolerances’, so often blamed on food production, becomes obvious.
Having as a family experienced some food / health / digestion problems over the past few years here are some of the apparent culprits, none of them the fault of food producers.
We have found that the easiest way to avoid problem additives is to buy clearly labelled ‘Organic’ food where they are not allowed! This is not a criticism of conventional farmers! It is a criticism of the additives ‘pushed’ by some big businesses and incorporated into basic foodstuffs for various reasons - usually to improve shelf life.
The amount of extra money spent on organic produce is more than compensated for by an improvement in family health. The only other alternative is spending extra shopping time reading labels. We have found that even some of the well known health food as well as drink manufacturers are among the chief culprits in the use of artificial sweeteners. Low calorie and low fat products also need careful checking.
To conclude: Do not automatically blame the farmer for your dietary health problems! Place the blame squarely where it belongs. Most are caused, not by pesticide / insecticide / fungicide contamination (although these do happen) but by the deliberate use of artificial additives by food processors.
T.W.B. March 2002
|Food additives 2005|
The following links are to sites which either list the various e-numbers or list a variety of numbers with comments about them. If you wish to discover more about a particular additive then type its number plus its name into a search engine and define the search area if you wish.
The inclusion of any site on this list is to start your search and is not necessarily an endorsement of its contents.
Earthways e-numbers listings A list of numbers with comments about them.
|Additives are they good for us?|
See also Food for Thought 2002
Genetically Modified Organisms Research Report
This report on research carried out from 1994-1997 and 1997-2000 was published on the Web at 10.00 p.m.on Christmas Eve. The timing (a good time to bury bad news?) and the fact that it was done ‘by a technician clearing his desk before the holiday’ (since when do ‘technicians’ have authority to publish reports?) led me to immediately search for, and read the information available.
The summary can be found at  www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/research/epg-1-5-84.htm on which page there is also a link to the full report. However it can only be read online and cannot be saved onto computer.
And, commenting on the need for more information -
There are a number of concerns to be raised:
A quote from the Government:-
T. Brighton: - December 2002
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