November 14: A timely reminder of the role of our ‘invisible’ farmers

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From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

READING how Prince Charles has called on city dwellers to support the “invisible” farming industry which, he argues, is crucial to the nation’s prosperity, I wholeheartedly agree (Jayne Dowle, The Yorkshire Post, November 12).

As he suggests, it is easy for those who live in urban areas to forget how much the UK depends on those who have farmed the land for generations. We “townies” never give a thought to how much we depend on many family farms and others.

Of course, the rural economy is largely invisible to many people and anyone that have friends that are farmers will know that the derogatory term “poor farmers” does not necessarily mean all are wealthy.

We should never forget the large contribution these people make to our nation’s food security, environment and prosperity by a lot of their hard work.

We have always relied on them to feed us through world wars and whatever the weather throws at them. Hopefully, in the coming uncertain years, they will, by whichever government is in power, continue to do so.

From: Gordon Lawrence, Stumperlowe View, Sheffield.

WE have a universal panacea if we become a disciple of the zealotry of Philip Smith (The Yorkshire Post, November 6) where he eulogises of the magic of his chosen cause – veganism. According to his claims, which I challenge, there seems to be no limit to the health hazards his obsession will mitigate, prevent or cure – you’ve won the lottery of life if you choose to be a vegan.

Where I do agree with Mr Smith is in his withering condemnation of the lack of responsibility of so many of our fellow citizens in following the lifestyle of over-indulgence that places such a strain on the NHS. But his attack on meat, egg and dairy consumption is a claim too far. Vegetables, fruit, nuts and cereals are vital but they lack for instance Vitamin B12 and iron, although present in greens, is nothing like as assimilable as in meat (in spite of Popeye’s addiction to spinach).

Most vegans are far from obese but some make the cadavers who stroll the catwalk look like Billy Bunter. It is not a pretty sight, but the other not so pretty sight is the proliferation of monsters of flab rightly castigated by Philip Smith. This is not the result of dairy and meat but mainly the excessive consumption of carbs, especially refined cereals, fructose and sucrose, all plant-based foods. This is Mr Smith’s so called “British diet”.