Populism knows no depths. You have to scratch the surface to find real news. For example follow this link to The Bucks Herald: http://bit.ly/pdCTYq to a story entitled "Do you know the price of food insecurity?" Imagine our local rag running a serious story like that!? The article told of research undertaken by the British Red Cross, who asked the public how they would cope if they were forced to spend between 50 and 80 per cent of their income on food.

The story went on to say that nearly 90% would find it difficult to maintain their lifestyles whilst 52% said it would make life "very difficult". Of course the purpose of the research was to show what life was like for many people in developing countries. Most of us missed the irony in the story. We are the lucky ones and spend only around 11% of our income on food. The research was done to launch a new campaign "Seeds of Change" designed to "highlight the issue of food insecurity on communities around the globe". You can see where this is going. We are naturally lead to believe this is a problem for somebody else. somewhere else. Poor people in poor countries. Anywhere other than us, here in High Wycombe.

In a stunt to back the campaign the BRC held a "food insecurity market" in London where food prices were between 500 and 800% higher than we are used to. If we were to experience that kind of food insecurity then we would have to spend 50 to 80% of our income on food. A loaf of bread would cost up to £7. A bunch of bananas up to £8. That old staple; a tin of baked beans would cost up to £5. A pint of milk £4 and.... Well, you get the picture.

It was on the same day (the 17th October) that the BBC (http://bbc.in/q1AOQJ) also ran an interesting story on how the UK military (that famous bunch of witless, woolly-minded, liberal, commie-green-subversives) were now talking-up the security threat from Climate Change. I strongly suggest you read this story because it is about food security. Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), said that that conflict caused by Climate Change could make it more difficult and expensive to obtain goods from overseas. "If there are risks to [our] trade routes[...], then it's food, it's energy," he told BBC News. Let us repeat that: "it's food, it's energy".

Fast forward only two days to the 19th October (http://gu.com/p/32m4y/tw) to hear the news that fuel poverty this winter will kill more people than road traffic accidents. The story that was run all over the media including the BBC. It concerned research from the London School of Economics which highlighted how many people would have to choose between eating and heating. Yet still the British Red Cross launch a campaign intended to highlight the plight of people overseas. It is NOT that their plight is not a worthy one: it is that we are forgetting how quickly it is coming home to haunt us.

Three years ago when the Transition Town High Wycombe came into existence we started a speculative fictional story of how High Wycombe's history would unfold over the next 100 years. In it we jokingly suggested that The Rye would be ploughed up to become a Farm: a Community Supported Agricultural scheme run by the community. I was warned by a local Council official that such statements were a little too "radical" for the Council. Yet we only have to go back less than 70 years to recall a time when The Rye was a field sustaining milking cows. What a luxury amnesia is.

Imagine our surprise and delight, less than three years later, to find The Rye actually being ploughed up. Sadly it was only to supply our community with football pitches not carrots or cows. Putting aside the debate, as to how better the money could have been spent, I seriously have to question what kind of investment this is. One could argue that a soccer pitch is disappointing and sterile use for the land. Imagine that space being drained and planted with row after row of fruit trees and beanstalks. Then imagine hundreds of your local neighbours wandering up and down the aisles of food picking and tending - much as we attend a supermarket today.

So, you can choose to make The Rye a sterile flat area to kick a bag of air around on, or you grow our future on it. Not that there is anything wrong with football. But you have to question how soon it will be before our priorities are forced to change. It is really nice to live in a world of cheap food where we can have large empty spaces for recreational activities. But if current trends continue I give it less that thirty years before we have to seriously grow up and face facts. There is a better way.

About time we discovered it.

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