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FOOD Three Mayo women eat Irish food only for a month


Excuse me, is that Irish?

Ciara Galvin

Three Mayo women are attempting to cut out all food from foreign shores for the month of August. Many might think this would be a walk in the park, but when you restrict yourself to products sourced in Ireland, soon many things become off limits.
Fruit like bananas and oranges will be out, as will anything containing sugar. Tea – that mainstay of the Irish diet – will also be a no no, along with a whole host of everyday imports, including staples like pasta and rice. Looks like Michelle Granaghan, Laura Heneghan (both Castlebar) and Nicola Lewis (Ballina)will have their work cut out for them.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Michelle explained that the idea came about from a friend in Vancouver who had completed a similar challenge. “There was a big movement in the States and Canada where people decided to eat food produced within a 100 mile radius of their homes. Books and blogs were written, and it created lots of interest. Those who took part, including my friend, said they gained in ways they never envisaged, befriending local producers and becoming aware of what was really available locally.”
Michelle and her friends were taken with the idea and wondered if they could do it here.
They decided that considering Ireland’s inferior size compared to Canada, they would not restrict themselves to a 100-mile radius but would try to eat food produced only on the island.
When asked about what exactly they will be eating the answer was not surprising. Potatoes, lots of potatoes. And what is it that Michelle said she is going to miss most? Well, a girl’s best friend of course, chocolate. “Coffee and chocolate are going to be the hardest. Dinners should generally be okay because of the great range of meat and vegetables available locally. But snacks are going to be tough without sugar.”
Michelle’s answer to the snack dilemma is the popular flapjack. “At least we have got those to hand. We’ll need to be making them purely out of honey so I’ve already been in contact with some honey producers about getting a bucket of it.”
Michelle says she is looking forward to gaining much more from the challenge than just a love of potatoes. “I’m looking forward to meeting local producers and becoming aware of road miles. What is the point in eating apples and potatoes that have been imported when you can get them on your doorstep?”