Here's something I recently thought about. Was our food organic in the 70s without any label or us realising? I was brought up in North Wales on the coast in a freezing old Victorian 4 story house. When we ate meat it came from the local butcher who most likely bought it from the meat markets in our county. Take lamb for example. Most likely the lamb he bought to sell us came from the windswept mountains of Snowdonia, free and healthy as can be. The chickens were almost certainly reared intensively but not as industrialised as now.
The veg we bought may have come from as far away as perhaps East Anglia but it was still almost certainly all British and relatively chemical free.
I heard on River Cottage that the chickens raised in the 1970s had about eight times the anount of Omega 3 in them than they do now.Can it be that the 2 pound birds our esteemed Tesco sell are pretty vacant in terms of nutrition?
Absolutely not, pesticides were the Modern Way back in 70s farming. I have a ladybird book on farming from then, going on about how Modern Farming has all these exciting intensive cheap improvements on the old labour intensive ways.
No, it would have been full of DDT and other lovely chemicals! I don't know how far you'd have to go back to get to everything being organic. Even the Victorians used chemicals on plants, though possibly more gardeners than farmers.
The 70's was when the councils all delighted in herbiciding everything including the roadside verges - not a weed anywhere.
You have to go further back than that, unless you (like me) had hippy parents who grew everything including the chickens and made everything from bread to clothes.
The reduction in nutrition now is probably to do with the speed the chicken is fattened now and the type of food it has - aimed at fast maturing meat not nutritionally rounded for the bird. A bought bird has been killed in half the time a home reared bird is , which is not big enough until 5 months.
Certainly meat wasn't as uniform. My mum says it was quite common to get a piece of meat to roast or whatever (not that often as they were skint - we were mince & tatties children mostly) and find out it was tough as old boots.
I presume that was down to less intensive, factory-style farming processes.