A delicious fresh episode on Irish food sustainability dished up each week for everyone who loves food and cares about the environment.
37:10While some EU countries are in the process of banning Glyphosate, the most used herbicide on the planet and the active ingredient in Monsanto's RoundUp, Ireland's Department of Agriculture and Teagasc, the Irish agricultural training and research body, say there's no alternative and that Irish farming is not sustainable without it. Ellie is joined by John Spink, Teagasc's head of Crops and Environment, organic farmer Ross Jackson who runs Lacka Lamb with his wife Amy and farms organic oats and barley, and NUIG researcher Dr Alison Connolly, who is conducting research into glyphosate exposure in Irish farming and non-farming families, for a look at the current state of play regarding the chemical which has been involved in several controversies including high-profile cancer lawsuits in the US and emerging evidence that glyphosate can have negative impacts on bee health.
2020: Sugar in hindsight
35:48The closure of the Irish sugar industry in 2005 was a staggering blow to Irish food security. From being self-sufficient in sugar and molasses to importing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of these commodities per year, often from countries whose cheap production relies on horrendous working conditions on sugar cane plantations, it’s difficult to look back on the demolition of the industry as anything other than a retrograde step. Looking back on the salutary tale of the demolition of Ireland’s indigenous sugar industry, whose closure impacted 3,700 beet farmers and thousands of other jobs in light of recent concerns for food security raised by Brexit and the Covid Crisis, what can we learn? From compensation packages for Irish farmers to a particularly sweet deal for Greencore, the food company that shut up shop under pressure from an EU sugar reform scheme: Ellie is joined by Alan Navratil, a farmer whose family history is steeped in the story of Irish sugar, for a 2020 look at Ireland’s lost sugar industry.
Halloween Pumpkin Special!
27:46This is a special family-friendly episode of Green Bites, all about the pumpkin. Join Ellie and her nephew Fionn to carve pumpkins and make pumpkin pie from a very special pumpkin that Ellie got by going to visit vegetable farmers Joe and Sandra Burns. Covering food waste, seed-saving, how pumpkins grow and recipes you can use to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Halloween pumpkin, this podcast episode is tasty food for thought and comes with recipes and video on the podcast website. www.greenbites.ie
20:20Green Bites visited with community gardens on Cork's Northside at the end of the Covid-19 lockdown to learn how gardening is not only used therapeutically to aid mental health, but to grow resilient communities. Community Health officers Sarah Carr, John Paul O'Brien give Ellie a tour of NICHE Community Garden in Knocknaheeny.
An Ode to Apples
40:07Did you know that less that 5% of the apples eaten in Ireland are grown here? Most are flown from far-flung places like New Zealand, Chile and South Africa. Yet all over the country, each autumn, apples are left to rot in gardens. This ode to the humble apple is in the company of David Llewellyn of Llewellyn's Orchard in Lusk, Co Dublin.
39:43"Chefs have a responsibility to choose and nurture their supply chain. The restaurant is the showcase of a lot of other hard work that's gone on in the background, and it's important for the restaurant to showcase that work in a respectful kind of a way." In episode nine of Green Bites, visit Michelin-starred Galway restaurant Loam, where head chef and co-owner Enda McEvoy is envisioning an indigenous Irish cuisine based on local supply chains. Loam is the first ever Irish restaurant to be awarded three stars by the Sustainable Restaurants Association and the first winner of Michelin's UK and Ireland sustainability award.
40:48Neighbourfood is the growing online click-and-collect local shopping platform that allows time-poor customers to support their local food producers. From five collection hubs in March to 40 all over Ireland in September: Cork man Jack Crotty, co-founder of Neighbourfood, talks about how the Covid-19 crisis has led to a boom in his fledgling business, and all the ways he hopes it will be able to support small local food producers in Ireland.
Seeds of Hope, Seeds of Change
38:29Ireland is almost entirely dependent on imported seed for all its commercial and garden food crop seeds. During the Covid-19 restrictions, this dependence was highlighted when both Ireland's organic seed suppliers, Irish Seedsavers and Brown Envelope Seeds, were forced to limit access to their website to ration their seeds in response to the boom in interesting in growing vegetables. Ellie visits both Irish Seedsavers and Brown Envelope Seeds to explore the implications of this for our food security and sovereignty.
The Knowledge of Salmon
53:56From smoked salmon to sushi, salmon is widely eaten and widely loved. But wild Atlantic salmon stocks are in a dangerous decline. Ireland plans to double its farmed salmon exports in the coming years and yet our government licensing system hangs in a 13-year stasis. With John Murphy of Salmonwatch Ireland and Catherine McManus of MOWI, the Norwegian aquaculture giant who produce the bulk of Ireland's organic farmed salmon, Green Bites goes fishing for the truth about the sustainability of salmon.
Ireland's White Gold Boom
37:53Ireland produces somewhere in the region of 13% of the world's infant formula. Research has revealed that for every kilo of formula produced, the true carbon cost is anywhere between four and 11 kilos of greenhouses gases. Alongside Australian expert in the economics of infant feeding Dr Julie Smith, Green Bites takes a deep dive into the environmental and ethical impacts of Ireland's €1.3 billion White Gold Boom.