A SOMERSET MP held a parliamentary debate on UK food security last week. 

Sarah Dyke, MP for Somerton and Frome, highlighted the importance of ensuring that the UK has accessible, healthy food that can be grown for generations at the event, which was on Tuesday, March 19. 

The debate was attended by various MPs, who discussed a range of issues, including planning regulations and the plight of farmers. 

Ms Dyke said that we must support farmers, while also looking after the long-term health of the environment. 

“Food security is one of the most important challenges the country is facing and I was delighted to bring this topic before Parliament for debate," Ms Dyke said.

“It is vital that we support farmers to produce food at home, especially more fruit and vegetables. We must also ensure that healthy food is available and affordable for everyone.

“The current food market is flooded with ultra-processed food that is damaging our health and leaving people without sufficient nourishment. The Food Foundation found that the poorest 20% of households would need to spend half of their disposable income on food in order to afford the NHS’s recommended healthy diet. It is about time we changed this.

“I am calling for a land use strategy and horticulture plan to help us identify where we can best grow food such as fruit and vegetables, whilst also encouraging more local food cycles, such as local farms supplying food to local schools.

“This is how we can create a thriving food culture of which we can all be proud.”

Ms Dyke highlighted how important it is to make sure people can access health food. She told the MPs that the current food system encourages 'the proliferation of ultra-processed food'.

She explained that it is estimated that by 2035, 40% of people in the UK will have obesity, and that the NHS will be spending £15bn on treating type 2 diabetes - 1.5 times as much as currently spent on cancer treatment.