City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Connecting Food, Soil & the Planet - Patrick Holden of the Soil Association


By edg - Posted on 02 January 2010

Event details

Talk by Patrick Holden, a part-time farmer, who has been involved in the organic movement since 1973.

Holden worked initially as a full-time organic farmer, and now champions organic farming and sustainable forestry as Director of the charity The Soil Association. He is an enthusiastic advocate of green technology, and is not afraid of courting controversy. Recently he criticised the government's decision to lower the national carbon footprint by reducing farm animals.

Holden argued that intensively produced white meat (chicken and pork), and grain fed beef should be targeted, not grass-fed livestock: “Policy-makers and politicians are rushing to judgement about the impact of farm animals on climate change with one eye closed. Reducing the number of sheep and beef cattle because they emit methane could have the unintended consequence of actually increasing total greenhouse gas emissions from UK food production and consumption. Permanent grassland grazed by ruminants represents a stable ecosystem which is more carbon-friendly than ploughing it up to grow crops to feed to intensively farmed chickens, pigs and poultry. This is our equivalent of the rain forest and we must now value and manage it accordingly.”

The event is £6 for adults, free for under-18s, students, amd RSGS members