Sugar beet and soil depletion

British sugar - too much of a bad thing?

Sugar production is eroding the UK’s best soils and jeopardising our future food
production, while creating negative health costs paid for by the public purse.

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What's the problem?

Our soils are severely malnourished and so are we. What do these issues have in common? Sugar. Evidence suggests that sugar cultivation could be responsible for a whopping 10% of the UK’s annual topsoil loss. Some parts of the UK may only have a decade of soil fertility left. The UK grows four times as much sugar as the recommended intake suggests that we eat. Research shows that getting more than 10% of your daily calorie intake from sugar (about 10 teaspoons) increases the risk of being overweight, obesity and tooth decay. Too much sugar is bad for us and bad for our soil.

 

 

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What's the solution?

We urgently need to scale down the use of good soil to grow sugar in the UK.  We need to reduce the availability of sugar in the UK by two thirds down to the WHO’s recommended daily allowance of 10% of daily calorific intake or less. This will slow the degradation of UK soil and free up resources to grow food with higher nutritional value, with significant benefits for our health, now and in the future.

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Latest updates in this campaign

What is land for? Feedback at the Oxford Real Farming Conference
What is land for? Feedback at the Oxford Real Farming Conference 2nd Jan 19

At this year's Oxford Real Farming Conference on 3 and 4 January,…

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