Food Glorious Food!
The source of happiness for most of us !
Our relationship with food has evolved so much over the past few years. The culinary scene in Ireland has changed so much and the variety of offerings we have come to expect continue to move fast to keep up.
Supermarket shelves now stock fruits and vegetables that many of us had never heard of 10 or 20 years ago, because our appetite for these foods is growing.
As has our appetite for high end food in our cafe’s and restaurants. And they are delivering. New restaurants are opening every day in our main cities (and even our smaller towns) answering the call from people who are looking for more.
But is this all good news?
We will delve into the world of the restaurant industry and the markets that supply them. We will ask who is operating with sustainable practices, who is supporting local and of course, who has the best and tastiest food!
Because, we cannot ignore that one of the biggest sources of waste in our world today, is in our food production and supply. It has simply become our present and everyday reality. Over one tonne of food is wasted by every household in Ireland every year. That’s one million tonnes in Ireland every year. And across the world – one third of all of our food goes to waste.
Today, in a world where more than half the world’s population currently lives in cities, this an on-going challenge as convenience becomes ever more important to an urban society. The retailers committed to long-term action to deal with the crisis, so although we have a long way to go, they, at least, have started to play their part.
But, stay with us to see what your favourite food brands, shops and even local cafes are doing to try to combat our food waste challenge. We will let you know what restaurants are embracing sustainable food practices and what supermarket chains are banning the use of plastic packaging.
All this, along with news on the latest restaurant openings and new dishes to hit the market!
Discover more food stories with us – and let us share yours!
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By reducing food waste (and packaging), you not only cut down on food waste itself, but on the packaging it comes in. This, in turn, will cut back on the natural resources used to produce (and dispose of) it.
Meat and dairy production are a huge contributor to greenhouse gases. They are also heavily packaged. According to a 2018 study of 40,000 farms in 119 countries published in the journal Science, cutting back your consumption of meat and dairy might be the single most effective step you can take to reduce your negative environmental impact on the Earth. We get just 18% of our calories and 37% of our protein from meat and dairy, but livestock suck up 83% of our farmland and generate 60% of the agricultural greenhouse gas.
Substituting meat with fish isn’t a perfect solution either, as over fishing is having a devastating effect on our oceans.
Adopting more plant-based diets could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the food system by more than half (according to one study, published in October 2018 in the journal Nature). A mainly plant-based diet could also reduce other environmental impacts, such as those from fertilizers, and save up to quarter use of both farmland and fresh water.
Legumes and pulses (beans, lentils and peas) are the most sustainable protein source we have. They require very small amounts of water to grow, they can grow in harsh, dry climates and they grow in poor nations, making it easier to feed those in most need.
Foods in season are more plentiful (for obvious reasons), so consuming them in season means that there will be less waste (and more taste!). Consider the carbon footprint of the air freight getting fruit and vegetables across the world. Consider the energy used to refrigerate these products to keep them fresh for up to 6 months before they hit our shelves. Supporting locally produced fruit and veg is better for everyone, including the local community. You can generally be assured that your products are also pesticide free (ask!),
We know that’s not always possible (for us city dwellers especially), but if you only have a small bit of outdoor space (or window sill), growing your very own fresh herbs is so worth it! If you do have some larger space available, some vegetables are really easy to grow – and consider the satisfaction! It’s a great thing for kids to get involved with too. (Note from the editor: Our family recently discovered that we have an ideal habitat and soil type to grow blueberries!)
Flexitarianism is the new buzz word being thrown about in terms of the way people are approaching their food and meal choices. It is predominantly a plant based diet, but gives people the option to include meat or fish if and when they chose to, occasionally. We think this is a great option for people who would like to consider veganism/ vegetarianism (either for health or environmental reasons), but are not willing to give up meat entirely. Veganism can be a scary thing for meat eaters to consider, but this could be the answer to moving them to towards trying more plant based options.