This month’s cold snap has brought the fragility of our oil dependent food supply into sharp focus. This article in the Guardian last Friday reported how food is trucked daily from farms to a handful of processing centres before being trucked back out to the supermarkets. For example 80% of carrots pass through just 10 packing centres!
This needless transport around the country is demanded by supermarkets operating a just in time policy in the name of efficiency and cost cutting. Last week this system almost broke down and there were reports of food shortages in some areas of Britain. Whilst the cold weather was a rare event disruptions to the global oil supply as a result of peak oil will have the same effect (and almost did so during the year 2000 trucker strike).
In pamphlet opposite the New Economics Foundation explores the chronic vulnerability of our oil-dependent society. Called Nine Meals from Anarchy it examines how climate change, competition for resources, decline in oil production and the international food crisis will cause system collapses far greater than the economic crisis.