Since the moment I landed in Ireland, I noticed a difference between the food in Ireland and the food in the United States. In Ireland, the food at the market is fresher and healthier than food in America. I first noticed the difference in the food when I went to the grocery store in Cloughjordan. What stood out to me the most was that the eggs were not refrigerated. Instead, they were on a regular shelf just like cereal or chips. The worker told me the eggs were not refrigerated because they do not have added hormones and are treated differently than eggs in the United States. In America, eggs are refrigerated because they are specially washed to prevent Salmonella. After they are washed, they must be chilled until they are eaten. In Europe, chickens are given a vaccination to prevent this so they are not required to be washed like in America. Also in this grocery store, I noticed they only had 2 packets of fresh chicken breasts left. When I asked the worker if they had more she explained, they get a fresh shipment to the store every morning and that the 2 packets were all they had left for the day. At my local Stop and Shop, when the display is low on chicken, they go to the back freezer and restock the chicken. These are just two examples of why food is fresher in Ireland than America.
In addition to the freshness of food in Ireland compared to in America, the food is also healthier in Ireland than in America. One day, I was sitting at a cafe reading the menu and noticed at the bottom a note stating “sugar tax already included in prices.” I had never heard of the sugar tax so I asked our bus driver Des about the tax. Des explained the sugar tax was implemented “to prevent mothers from giving their children drinks with added sugars.” He further explained that since the drinks with added sugars are more expensive, people are more likely to buy the less expensive options which subsequently has less sugar. On the contrary, in America, only certain cities and states have a “soda tax” which is similar to Ireland’s sugar tax, showing Ireland’s better attempt to be healthier. Likewise, in both the small and large grocery stores, I noticed significantly fewer snack aisles than in America. In a small grocery store, they only had half of a snack aisle and in large grocery stores, they had only one aisle. In America, small grocery stores have a whole snack aisle and large grocery stores have 2 to 3 full snack aisles. This also displays Ireland’s healthier eating habits. Through observing these differences between food in Ireland and food in America, it was clear that food in Ireland was more fresh and healthy than food in America.