Before this trip to Ireland, people would make remarks to me like, “oh good luck in Ireland, all of the food is so bland” and “all you will be eating in potatoes and bread.” I thought the food here would consist of: corn beef and cabbage, potatoes, stews, and bread. From my experience here I have witnessed their wide use of potatoes but also foods found in other cultures. I was also surprised to see some foods on the menu like: curry, Thai stir fry dishes, Italian pasta dishes, kabobs, and Indian foods. What is not addressed or known back in America; is how fresh the food in Ireland is, the work that is put into producing these foods, and the concept behind the making, processing, and waste of the foods.
Ireland is a very sophisticated with their strides towards becoming an eco friendly country. Ireland believes in the “farm to fork” way of producing and gathering foods. The work put into making these food is an extensive, strenuous task. One site we went to was the Ecovillage in Cloughjordan. At the Ecovillage we met a man named Bruce, who had a project called “RED Garden.” In this project he uses seven different garden beds to develop and experiment with different ways to garden.
He provides fresh produce for his community daily and does not produce the vegetables to sell and make money off them, but to live out the “farm to fork” concepts. Bruce, as well as the people in the community, emphasized the importance of eating fresh, naturally produced vegetables.
Another site we visited that I got to see their work ethics and process firsthand was Killary’s Mussel Farm. When we first got there we were greeted with a warm welcome and homemade brown bread. They fed us oysters, clams, and mussels. It was the best, freshest seafood I had ever tasted. We went onto their mussel boat, where Simon described mussel farming. After understanding the process of mussel farming Simon pulled up the lines and showed us the process of gathering all of the mussels too.
Ireland uses their land and tools to produce fresh and clean food. Throughout my trip in Ireland, I have been served lasagna, curry, salmon, hake, prawn, steak, chicken, and many other delicious meals. The food here has been so fresh and natural. From using the “farm to fork” way of producing food, Ireland has also developed the mentality not to waste food. Many of the hostels we have stayed at throughout this trip have separated waste into categories; “clean recyclable,” “dirty recyclable,” “trash,” and “compost.” Compost is a mix of all leftover food that was not eaten and is reused to be turned into a natural, and healthier version of fertilizer. Ireland’s farmers put in hard work to produce foods that are locally grown and fresh. The people of Ireland have recognized the fact that food can be reused into compose for a better fertilizer for future produce being produced. This acknowledgement and appreciation for food Ireland has really is an eye-opener to what other countries should mimic and live by.