It’s not as if the food message hasn’t been delivered convincingly before. But when it’s coming from a monarch whose country’s delicacies include something called spotted dick and something else that looks suspiciously like bottled oil slick but is actually a yeast extract paste known as Marmite — well, it’s getting pretty clear that something has to be done about the way we eat.
Last May, the Prince of Wales delivered a speech to an audience at the Future of Food Conference in Washington D.C. about the dire state of our food production systems. Making elegant quotation signs with his fingers as he spoke of “sustainability” and its prospects in “the real world,” His Royal Highness drew from his three decades of experience with the issue to present the case that in the 21st Century, as global population escalates and as strains on agricultural land intensify, it is time for us to begin rethinking how our food is produced. Soils are being depleted, water is becoming scarcer, and climate change stands to make these problems considerably worse.
The lecture now takes the form of a newly published booklet, which environmental activist Laurie David was inspired to help put together after attending the conference and hearing the prince in person. She tells PLANET that just as she sat and listened to Al Gore’s presentation of the climate crisis years before and had the vision for a film, she was motivated in this more recent case to spread the prince’s speech more widely.