I have the privilege every year of downing tools and heading over to the Oxford Real Farming Conference and this year there was a strong theme about healing our planet, our relationship with farmers and ourselves.

We live in an era where our connection with food and with the communities that grow it have been lost.

The primary purpose of food is to provide nourishment and health but it has now become a commodity and a central cause for health problems, inequality and environmental chaos around the world. In order to re-establish the connection between us, our food and ecology, we need to become aware of our inherent connection with the Earth.

Our relationship to food must be lived through giving back to the Earth and becoming part of the natural cycles that sustain all life.These new products, and the companies that produce them, represent a fusion between new biotechnologies, hyper-processed food, and the industrial billionaires that control the agrifood chain. The tech companies that produce this new food hail the sustainability of their products, claiming it is a real solution to climate change by producing less greenhouse gases than conventional animal production and solving environmental degradation since it requires less water and land and also irons out any animal welfare concerns. But upon deeper inspection, these ultra-processed fake foods rely on GMO crops grown in monocultures, using harmful pesticides, and other agrotoxins, thus directly contributing to the very food system that is destroying wildlife, polluting water and soils, and warming up the planet.

This session, from the Oxford Real Farming Conference with Vandana Shiva; Satish Kumar; Ruchi Schroff discusses how fake food shifts political power away from organic farmers and local markets toward biotech companies. It disregards local and indigenous knowledge and diverse food cultures that it completely ignores the solutions offered by the growing agroecology movement. We must re-establish our connection with eating as an ecological act in defiance of the false solutions that separate us from life and nature.