As herbalist I believe that it is essential that people know how best to make use of their resources to ensure nutritional well-being. To be adequately nourished, individuals need to have access to sufficient and good quality food and they need an understanding of what constitutes a good diet for health, as well as the skills and motivation to make good food choices as well as increase knowledge of the nutritional value of foods

We are what we eat and emphasised the importance of personal responsibility and choice in our food and drink.

– The proliferation of chemicals in the food chain; whilst this promotes accelerated growth in animals (for sometimes short term gains for the food industry), I am concerned at the possible long term effects of these chemicals (e.g. oestrogen) on the human population;

– Increased use of salt and sugar in our diet: the explosion in obesity rates must be a concern for the government, not only the effects on human wellbeing but the increasing costs on the NHS for treating the outcome of obesity;

– Cost of Organic foods – this choice is a partial mitigant to the above but I fear that the cost of making a healthy choice is beyond many working families budget;

-Treatment of animals at slaughter – one aspect the seminar raised was that the abuse of animals in these circumstances not only is unfair to the animals but the fear caused by this treatment (inducing fear and the release of cortisol) may effect the quality of the eventual meat we consume.

Not only are these concerns about our health and well-being, but also the long term detrimental effects on the human population (particularly our children) outweigh any short term drive and benefit to produce more food but with poorer quality.

I would therefore be interested in your views on this.