Grow your own! Chef Raymond Blanc says Britain needs to reconnect with the land
by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Raymond Blanc, one of the UK's best-loved chefs, says Britain that has lost both its connection with the land. With the loss of this connection the people have also lost any feeling for how food is grown, and often even understanding as to where it comes from. Now this Frenchman is urging us to return to traditional methods of producing food and a good idea this is too.
Blanc, a self-taught, Michelin-starred chef, leads the Royal Horticultural Society's "Edible Britain" campaign which was launched at the end of April 2013, in which the RHS calls on the nation to provide communities with fresh, seasonal produce.
Raymond says that people have lost completely their connection with the earth, their sense of place, how food is grown, the variety and seasonality.
"It's about reconnecting with your land – you help the farmer keep his job and keep our little villages alive. So, as consumers, we can really help to revive, and connect with, the craft of growing food. I think British people have made the mistake of becoming a big factory for many, many years," he further said.
As he launched the campaign – part of the RHS's Britain in Bloom movement – Blanc will teach children from an inner-city London estate the benefits of growing their own vegetables by helping them plant raised beds.
It is, however, not only children and young people who have become totally disconnected from the land and as to where our food comes from.
Recently I encountered, when there was a farmers' market in the locality, a woman, probably 70-ish in age, who said that we do not need farmers and farmers' markets. And she continued to say that instead we could buy all the food we needed at the supermarkets. According to her reasoning the food there was also cleaner, better and fresher.
This shows definitely, and she is but one of a number that I have encountered, that we have come far too far away from Nature and the land and a civilization that loses its connection with the land is bound to decay and I am sure we are headed that way. It is time for a full 180 degree turn around and a reconnection with the land and with growing and with producing our own food.