This month sees the Edible Garden open day, showcasing new and unusual food-growing spaces across London. (capitalgrowth.org). And Farm:London have been transforming derelict buildings into buzzing green spaces over the last year. (farmlondon.weebly.com). The urban farming trend seems to be constantly gaining traction, but has it gone too far?
The rural seems ever closer to city dwellers, with supermarkets boasting that they grow their own produce on the roof (foodfromthesky.org.uk), GroFun planning an urban-grown vegetable box scheme (grofun.org.uk), and Food Up Front encouraging townies to use their gardens, balconies or even windowsills to grow food. (foodupfront.org)
But, isn’t there a bit of a contradiction inherent in all this Window box farming? Putting the warm glow of eco-chic to one side, surely food grown in a polluted urban centre should be less appealing (and healthy) than food grown in a meadow in fresh, clean Somerset. In many ways peas with half an inch of petrol grime and a hearty smear of pollutants should be the opposite of organic.
It looks like food producers will always need to keep on their toes to dance around the changing definitions and criteria define whether food is healthy or not. Either that or it’s time for us to start serving up side orders of anti-oxidants with every polluted bowl of city famed veg.