Parliament isn’t just a place to score political points. Written questions are supposed to serve as a way for MPs to glean important information. The following question from James Paice, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, has received an interesting answer:
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) wheat, (b) barley, (c) fresh vegetables, (d) potatoes, (e) fresh fruit, (f) beef and veal, (g) pork, (h) bacon and ham, (i) mutton and lamb, (j) poultry meat, (k) eggs and (l) liquid milk was produced by volume in England in each year since 1997. 
|Volume of UK production|
Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2007, DEFRA
Of course there are lots of political implications here, not least in relation to the fact that yields have fallen in several areas. And we might ask why the Government’s answer showed UK-wide statistics, when Mr Paice asked about production in England alone.
But it’s also interesting – and sort of cool – to know that British hens laid 9,900,000,000 eggs last year. Isn’t it?!
UPDATE: The Scottish Conservatives have recently conducted a task force on food security, and published a report. It was edited by John Scott MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & the Environment, and can be found here.