The problems of agriculture in 1597, London are portrayed in 2019 – The rich only being able to afford organic food, the soil contaminated by mega-corporations and the knowledge of the relationship with skills and food imports from Europe.
With the pressure on land within the city walls of London in 1597, many of the inhabitants, and especially the poorer, relied on food being brought in. The Privy Council was obliged to order authorities in the provinces to release grain and foreign ships were even hijacked in the English Channel, but given that the dearth pertained throughout Europe, other solutions had to be found.
All major grain had been affected, along with peas and beans, so the answer lay in root vegetables. There was a considerable national prejudice held agains these. Writing in 1548, William Forrest declared: ‘Our English nature cannot lie by roots/ By waters, herbs or such beggary baggage/ That may well serve for vile outlandish coats’.
The wealthy disdained vegetables such as carrots and turnips, considering them to be the food of the poor. The poor in turn disliked root vegetables, considering them to be the food of the poor. The poor in turn disliked root vegetables, considering them to be food for animals. However, ‘outlandish coats’ – Dutch Market Gardeners – were now coming to the rescue of the starving poor with their skill with a range of vegetables, encouraged by the advocacy of writers such as Hugh Platt the author of Sundrie new and Artificiall Remedies again famine written in 1596.
Portrayed in London 2019
As stated in 1597 “the poorer relied on food being brought in.” in 2019 almost 30% of all organic sales now take place online or on the high street, according to a new report from Soil Association, the trade body which licenses organic products and promotes organic farming. Planet Organic, Whole Foods (Now owned by Amazon Inc) and many other ‘organic brands’ are not ‘London brands’. Although this may not be bad as its an investment within the city, it’s avenue and productivity is debatable with the similarity of 1597 – relying on food being brought in.
The Trussell Trust said that 63,367 people ate from their three-day emergency food supply between April and December between 2013 – 2014 and the number has been on the rise. The poverty in the capital of London has limited families options for organic food, including the taken-fo-r granted options of eating root vegetables or meat. London 1597, had a compelling similarity – families did not have the choice to eat the food which they wanted which was more nutritious.
The U.K produces less than 60% of the food it eats (wikipedia). Organic farming is considerably less. Less than 1% of agriculture workers are British (The Independent) which is splurged with of political rhetoric. This has issues. Foremost, less than 1% of agriculture workers are British.
British production of asparagus, cherries, raspberries and strawberries have been in decline (DEFRA) and this is due to having to pay a living wage (£10 an hour in London), a poor education system – which only classifies obtaining a degree as someone who is a skilled laborer which is fundamentally incorrect. On record, 19000 students studied agriculture to the Higher Education framework in the U.K. in 2013 not accounting for other methods of education and knowledge. The U.K has gained a limited amount of skills from Europe but none which betters the city of London’s’ agricultural problem as the U.K imports cheap labor not agriculture skills.
Agriculture in London 2019 shares similarities to London 1597 and its worth understanding why.
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