Make it British organic on Pancake Day

It’s Pancake Day. The day we’re supposed to eat up all the goodies in preparation for Lent. Possibly you’ll try to stop eating chocolate or give up alcohol but perhaps more as a dietary or lifestyle choice than for religious reasons.  Good luck I hope you shed hose excess pounds.

There is a simple lifestyle choice you could make this Lent that could have genuine and long-term impacts for the better and it’s really simple.  Start asking if the organic flour, grains & pulses you’re buying are British grown. Ask at the supermarket, farmshop, wholefood shop even at your bakery – wherever you are buying your organic flour or grains.

Why is this important? It is hugely important because of the massive biodiversity benefits organic arable farming delivers.  All organic farming provides biodiversity benefits “On average, organic farming increased species richness by about 30%. This result has been  robust over the last 30 years of published studies and shows no sign of diminishing.”[1] But if we dig a little deeper we see that organic arable (cereal and pulse) production provides the greatest biodiversity benefit of all.

The same study highlights the greater benefits delivered by organic arable production.  The graph below indicates that organic arable land has approximately 40% on average greater biodiversity than conventional arable land.

Organic Arable acres provide highest biodiversity benefits.

Organic Arable acres provide highest biodiversity benefits.

Given this huge benefit that organic arable area delivers why as a buyer of organic flour for your pancakes would you not want to ensure that the wheat milled for your pancakes was grown in the UK and so the biodiversity benefits created could be enjoyed by you and your family and friends in Britain?

Buying imported wheat for your organic pancakes is effectively exporting this massive improvement in biodiversity which you are rarely ever likely to see.  Surely that’s a bit like giving up chocolate for Lent to loose a few pounds and then developing a penchant for fudge.

So this Lent make a positive change through your buying and ask for British grown organic flours and grains to ensure you get the full benefits of your organic purchase.

[1] Land-use intensity and the effects of organic farming on biodiversity: a hierarchical meta-analysis Sean L. Tuck1 *, Camilla Winqvist2 , Flavia Mota  3 , Johan Ahnstrom€ 2 , Lindsay A. Turnbull1,3† and Janne Bengtsson2† 1 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK; 2 Section for Landscape and Soil Ecology, Department of Ecology, SLU, Box 7044, Uppsala S-750 07, Sweden; and 3 Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Zurich 8057, Switzerland

Wheat Collage

British Organic Wheat