Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.
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I’m currently helping to prepare the next book in our Postcards from Scotland series. It is called 'Scotland’s Local Food Revolution' and it’s by Mike Small, Director of the Fife Diet. And it is dynamite. Mike is very good at setting out just how dysfunctional our food system is. He very forcefully brings home how wrong it is for us now to believe that we should be eating anything, anytime from anywhere and in the process paying no attention to seasonality, distance or culture.
When Mike suggested 'Scotland’s Local Food Revolution' as a title I was happy to go along with it but I must admit that I had a slight niggling doubt that it wouldn’t quite live up to its name. But it does. Indeed the thing that has particularly bowled me over is his description of all the activity that is currently happening in Scotland on eating and growing local food.
At the events I’ve been involved with on the Postcard books I know that people have been particularly inspired by the various projects listed in book three – The New Road: Charting Scotland’s inspirational communities. And I’ve little doubt that readers will be similarly inspired by book four. They might not rush out and set up a local food project but they may well alter their eating habits. I’ve already planted salad veg and herbs much earlier than usual.
Change is coming anyway. The current system is completely unsustainable and food supplies are about to become a huge issue as a result of climate change.
One of the scariest pieces I’ve read for a while was Sunday’s lead story in The Observer. For those who didn’t see it the headline read ‘Millions face starvation as world warms, says scientists’. It even predicts that by 2050 areas of Africa will be turned into ‘permanent disaster areas’. Given this it is going to become more and more unacceptable for countries like Kenya to be growing and shipping vegetables for western consumers. They should be growing crops to feed their own people and we should be growing much, much more of what we eat at home.
Mike’s book will be out in the next couple of weeks and I’ve little doubt that it will inspire more Scots to get planting.