Eco-Food Heroes

Sunday's Observer Food Monthly has compiled a list of 'top 40 eco foodies', some of whom are high profile types such as the Prince of Wales and David Cameron, Jamie Oliver and the head of Marks & Spencer, but the list also includes some unsung heroes who have influenced our buying and eating habits.

Former Formula One champion driver Jody Scheckter (pictured) has left behind his car racing days and become a proper organic farmer. He raises his sheep, cattle and poultry under the strictest bio-dynamic conditions at Laverstoke Park. He has planted 130,000 trees and 8 miles of hedgerow and grows 31 different grasses for his flocks to eat. He plans to be self sustaining in fossil-full-free energy in two years. His chickens are raised outside and he has a specially designed abattoir to minimise distress to the animals.

Andrew Whitley is the baker at Village Bakery who discovered a range of rye breads in Russia and has since written a book, Bread Matters, about the sad state of British baking. He described it as "sad, soggy, nutritionally depleted and adulterated with hidden additives".

Professor Carlo Leifert is heading up research to help farmers grow as organically as possible through his project, Better Organic Bread.

The Real Meat Company was set up in 1986 by two butchers who were disgusted with the lack of ethical meat available. Everything they sell is completely traceable--they even DNA-test the meat to double check that no one is sneaking in produce that doesn't make the grade. Their website is a rant against supermarkets and a goldmine of cooking tips.

Eco celebrities are represented by Corinne Bailey Rae who supports Pump Aid a charity that works with local communities in Africa to create sustainable supplies of clean water. The bottled water brand Thirsty Planet helps to fund the project.

Tolhurst Organics is a vegetable box scheme serving a very local area within 25 miles of the sustainably run farm. One of the longest established organic vegetable farms in the country, vegetable boxes are left at collection points in local towns for people to pick up on trips that they would already be doing. : Observer Food Monthly

Tags: Agriculture | Bottled Water

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