Making the local choice

Oh the joys of shopping. The frantic search for a parking space. The even more frantic search for a euro coin for the shopping trolley. Aisles of bottles, boxes and tins. Fridges full of pre-portioned meats and commercial ready-mades. It’s enough to make you wonder does anyone care what they put on their plates anymore.  As long as it’s fast and doesn’t involve much in the way of preparation. The ethics of good food? Give it a rest. Hold on a minute. Before you get to thinking these are the rantings of another gastro-luvvie having a go at the way ordinary folk by their daily bread, let’s have a look. Take those regimented rows of imported,  mass grown fruits and vegetables in most supermarkets.  There are people the world over, some of whom don’t have a word of English, yet still know the names of our major multiples by heart. How? Because they spend their days working in packing houses, sorting uniformly shaped peppers into sleeves of three, laying same size tomatoes carefully into trays, cling filming perfectly round peaches into six packs. Anything that doesnt fit perfectly doesn’t go in. Each multiple has its own requirements in terms of packaging.So the guys that ‘work for the man’ must know who wants what. Hence reeling those names off the top of their heads. They probably do it in their sleep.And most of them have never been in a supermarket in their lives. In many cases, they eat the simple home cooked and homegrown foods of their area.And whilst they are thrilled to have an income from the job they do on ourbehalf,   they must scratch their heads and ask themselves is this the waywe have learned to purchase our food? Sorting, sizing and rejecting because of what the giants perceive to be ‘our needs’?  Think on it.  Good news! Here at Good Food Ireland it’s our job to care where our food comes from and how it’s produced and supplied to us. By people who also care how they grow, make or farm it. We consider the eating experience as a total holistic pleasure – from farm to fork, from ocean to table. Traceability and ethical production methods are our consideration. We like the often ‘off-perfect’  shaped produce grown in the tunnels and gardens of Ireland’s smallholders, and sold in our food and farm shops. We adore dirty carrots and parsnips, knobbly spuds and quirky cauliflowers. We know they may not always be the most perfect specimen of the species – but they are grown right here in our gentle climate and fertile soil and they taste great! We love the fleeting bounty of the seasons – the elusive specialities that come and go, creating culinary excitement constantly. We dont want the same old same old, day in day out. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – or in this case – on the tongues of the many who enjoy good local food.