Newspapers in the UK are showing empty supermarket shelves again. This time, it isn't panic buying that is causing the problem, it is the shortage of salad products. The government are blaming the bad weather in Southern Europe for shortages
However, people have posted pictures of markets, supermarkets and shops in Spain, Italy and Southern France with an abundance of items such as lettuce and tomatoes. So, why does the problem seem to be confined to the UK?
Therese Coffrey says that the situation will remedy itself in two to four weeks time. In the meantime, people in Britain should turn to locally grown seasonal products like turnips to feed themselves. She specifically mentioned turnips.
In a sense she is right. Britain relies far too much on importing food and people do not eat seasonally. They expect everything they want to be available all year round. However, even during the summer months, Britain still has to import the majority of what the people eat so seasonality is not necessarily the root of the problem (please excuse the pun!).
Unfortunately Britain is not giving the support that is needed to its farmers. I watch Countryfile on Sundays. On the program we regularly get items highlighting the difficulties farmers face. For example, the greenhouses in the South of England used to produce more than enough tomatoes during the winter.. That was until gas prices hit the roof making it too expensive to heat them.
The plain truth is that it would be impossible for Britain to be self sufficient for food. Let's face it, Britain isn't self sufficient for many things. Damn it, the country even imports coal!
If people did try to follow Coffrey's advice, they would soon have problems buying the root vegetables she suggests they eat. Ms Coffrey, when the turnips run out, what should they turn to next?