I was watching a episode of “Countryfile” on BBC television a few weeks ago (Nov 10th, 2019, it was their Autumn Special, originally aired on Nov 3rd, 2019) and was stunned to learn a surprising fact about 250 potatoes. Let me explain.
First, the programme showed a farmer who was cultivating his field with a large tractor with a large array of angled, metallic discs behind it, rapidly cutting through the soil and turning it over. Across the whole farm and as far as I could see, there was only bare soil that had been turned or was about to be turned. I was wondering what happens to any wildlife in the soil when this tractor comes through slicing everything up and why nature hasn’t had to do this sort of thing in all of history until now.
But then I learnt the first surprising fact. This farmer was preparing to sow a crop of barley, not for any food purpose, but in order to make beer. I was amazed at the size of the fields being churned up just so we can drink a glass of beer and I felt a little sad. All those trees had to be cleared and all of nature has to be sliced with rapidly moving metal discs, so we can drink beer (I like a glass a beer, but I still felt sad).
Next, they went to a farm that was harvesting potatoes. Again, it was a huge farm with rows and rows of mounds under which were potatoes ready to harvest. There were truckloads after truckloads of potatoes going back to the sheds.
And now the second surprising fact is that these potatoes were, once again, not being used to feed anybody, they were being used to create vodka! [Read more…] about 250 potatoes