A brand new six-part documentary TV series ‘Food Matters’ presented by GIY Founder Michael Kelly is set to air on RTÉ One from Wednesday, March 29th. The series will uncover Ireland’s food sustainability and how the food system is a major contributor to the climate change emergency.
Throughout the series, Michael Kelly travels across Ireland to meet with farmers, food producers, food experts, climate experts, chefs, economists, ecologists and activists as he digs deep to uncover the complexity of the Irish food system, how it works, how it delivers and how it impacts the environment.
Speaking of the new documentary series Mick says, “The food system is a major contributor to the climate emergency and the choices we make each day around food can be some of the most compelling pieces of climate action we can take in our lives. There are inspiring solutions to the problems in our food system happening right under our noses. In ‘Food Matters’ I take a journey around Ireland to explore these issues and meet the people and projects that can help to change the food system one meal at a time.
The series aims to bring viewers into this world, demystifying the complexity of the global food chain by introducing the passionate people who are making a difference here in Ireland and helping to create a more sustainable food system for all of us.”
‘Food Matters’ is filmed at GROW HQ in Waterford and features locations nationwide during each half-hour episode taking the audience on a new journey from plot to planet.
In episode one titled, ‘Love Soil’ Mick travels to West Cork to visit Dr Steve Collins who is farming on the side of a mountain and managing to grow a superfood in bad soil. He also visits Kildare to speak to see a farmer who has started to think a bit differently when it comes to his soil before stopping off in Kilbeggan to see how nutrient-enhancing soil on an organic oat farm is proving very healthy before finishing in Cork and looking at a potential future solution to urban growing in a surprisingly different garden on a rooftop.
In episode 2 ‘Follow the Seasons’ Mick meets Regina Sexton, food writer and researcher about our history with food, before taking a trip to Dublin to meet lecturer Dr Máirtín Mac Con Ionmaire who was awarded Ireland’s first PhD in food history. Next at Ballymaloe, he meets chef and food lecturer Rory O’Connell about the importance of eating seasonally and back in Waterford to GROW HQ where Mick gets to sit down for a real seasonal meal, and according to the head chef JB – if it’s not in season then it’s not on the menu. He also tackles the subject of the economics of seasonality with Jim Power and looks at the impact marketing has on people’s perception of seasonality with Damian O’Reilly. To finish he heads to Kerry to talk to Lisa Fingleton about a very interesting challenge based around seasonal and local food called the 30-day food challenge.
Mid series in ‘Stop Food Pollution’ Mick heads to Kildare to visit Paul Fogarty from the Irish Wildlife Trust to see some of the effects when food pollution gets into our waterways and farmlands. In Waterford he meets a lecturer in regenerative farming who has completely removed pollutants from a farm, he visits a young dairy farmer to talk about his story of converting to fully organic farming. Next in Dublin Mick meets journalist John Gibbons to chat about the impact of plastic on our planet before meeting environmental lawyer and activist Mindy O’Brien to discuss the use of plastic in our food system. To finish Mick is looking at a solution to food pollution – food that’s grown organically, locally and sold in a zero-waste shop with no plastic in sight.
In episode 4 with a ‘Support Local’ message, Mick is talking to a business owner who over the last year has decided to shut their doors, because of rising costs. He also chats with the former IFA chair of the horticulture sector. In Kerry, he meets independent veg retailer Dan Horan about this situation. In Wicklow, he explores how one company have managed to put sustainability at the core of their drinks business with the support of their local community. In Tipperary, he discovers how one entire community is all about supporting each other, at the Cloughjordan Community Farm. At GROW HQ he chats about how connecting small producers with a wider customer base makes it a win-win for all.
Episode 5 is titled ‘Eat More Plants’ Mick brings together three people for a very special meal and to chat about the topic of eating more plants. In Dublin, he talks to radio host Andrea Gilligan to get a view about public opinion on this issue. Next in Kildare at one of Ireland’s top restaurants, AIMSÍR he chats to chef Jordan Bailey about putting veg front and centre and in Kilkenny, he meets grower Pat Fitzgerald about some very alternative vegetables.
The final episode of the series is ‘End Food Waste’ and in Wexford Mick visits the EPA to find out about the shocking statistics regarding the current level of Food Waste in Ireland. In Dublin, he meets Journalist Conor Pope to gauge the public perception of Food waste. In search of some projects that are trying to make a difference when it comes to waste, Mick meets Bernie from Falling Fruit, and he then looks at how technology can play its part in food waste as we jump on a call with Jamie in London the founder of technology App “Too Good to Go” and see the reach of online platforms. In Cork, he explores how one lady is trying to change policy in the English Market when it comes to food waste and to finish he visits chef Conor Spacey who runs numerous zero-waste kitchens all over Ireland and England.
“Food Matters” is a brand new six-part TV series for RTÉ produced by InProduction TV & Scéal Creative Ltd. and presented by Mick Kelly, Founder of GIY and supported by the EPA Stop Food Waste & ReThink Ireland campaign. It will air on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player at 8.30 pm from Wednesday, March 29th. For further details see www.giy.ie.