When I first arrived in France (1972), every local farm had a small milking herd, a few pigs, enough vines to make about 2000 litres of wine, ducks for foie gras and confit, chicken for eggs and roasts, and enough arable land to produce all they and their animals required.
Now all has changed. My neighbours no longer have farmyard poultry and no longer have pigs, the vines have all long-gone as have many of the milking herds. The fields are sown with maize, sunflowers, and triticale, but the old fashioned wheat (which was exchanged with the baker for bread) has all but disappeared.
In the shops, markets, and supermarkets, the out-of-season 'French' beans come from Kenya, the baby sweet corn from Israel, and the Butternuts from South Africa; all could easily be grown here in France.
So what is happening? Fashion has taken over from common sense. Our farmers now spend more time filling in their subsidy forms than they do ploughing. Brussels tells them what to grow, and pays them to do so. The whole idea of 'FARMING' in Europe has become a farce.
It's interesting to note that the only people who now keep chickens in my immediate area are we non-farmers. We grow our own fruit and veg', keep a few hens, and even bake our own bread. If we relied on European farmers to feed us; I don't think we'd last too long.
Of course everyone knows all this already, but the stupidity sadly continues!