Author Archives: Fionnuala

Fionnuala

About Fionnuala

Fionnuala Collins works at East Clare Community Co-operative and is the Irish co-ordinator for this project. A philosophy graduate, she has furthered her studies with Community Development practice and Youth and Community work. Fionnuala is interested in how food can build partnerships and communities, especially in the act of sharing nutritious meals as a form of celebration. She is interested in why food poverty exists, and if there are really foods and diet lifestyles that either boost or destroy health. Fionnuala thinks The future of food partnership will bring together many aspects of community development practice and sustainable food production and sharing. Furthermore through sharing ideas, research and learning on what is the right direction for the future of food we might learn if there is a sustainable and health enhancing diet for the here and now.

Fionnuala

Documenting Thoughts on the Future of Food

Documenting Thoughts-  A Future of Food documentary

This is a 20 minute documentary produced by Nick Bromfield and Fionnuala Collins from East Clare Community Co-op. It contains 22 mini-interviews with learners and co-ordinators on the Future of Food partnership, interwoven with images taken over the life of the project. It is filmed on location in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary and Ireland between April 2014 and September 2015. It examines what is food from a variety of perspectives and looks at what might be the Future of Food, through collective action, though re-connection to nature, nutrition and to each other. Each person interviewed comments on their learning, inspiration or thoughts as a result of having participated on this food based learning journey together.

It is uploaded to the European Shared treasure database. The link is below

 

http://www.europeansharedtreasure.eu/detail.php?id_project_base=2013-1-HU1-GRU06-10303

Fionnuala

Day 3 of Hungarian Meeting

Day 3

Today we visit Budapest in all her glory. We start with a tour and talk by Era in her newly established place (3 years) in and share a wonderful lunch there.

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It is both a social enterprise and a business. One side is for education on how to work with food and the shop on the other side of fresh local produce. As there is a shop full of wonders, we are queuing to purchase things from the region. They are a buyers social enterprise and they try to use only items from within a 50km radius. 90% of what we eat is local with the exception being tea and coffee and a couple of other items on sale. In these cases they have a personal relationship with the grower so are assured of fair trade. We are impressed and meet the volunteers who keep the place afloat. They employ people in the shop as it makes a profit but we are told it would not be possible without a big voluntary effort. It reminds me of so many of the best initiatives and NGO’s, without voluntary effort they simply could not function. The best things (people!) in life are free. Or to re-phrase only the best people give of their time and energy for free and it would be a lesser world without such efforts.

New garden Enterprise.

We are taken to the new Garden of Hungarian Co-ordinator Agnes Repka and partner Mark and are given the freedom and materials to  Meitheal (irl) andecha (spain)  to create the shelter from the sun.

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We find ourselves drawn to build a shelter around a Hawthorn Bush. We share the little knowledge we have from all our cultures. In Ireland it is a sacred fairy tree and considered unlucky to cut it down.

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We are welcomed by Agi and led in a permaculture workshop by Dutch Co-ordinator Monique Wijn with an invitation to design the space. They have just taken on a lease in the garden (2 weeks ago-the ink is barely dry!) and we are welcomed into a south facing slope which has been human free (abandoned?) for 4 years. It is dry and the water situation is as yet unclear. HMMMM. The interesting question of human and natural partnerships are explored. In some ways the garden in her natural glory is getting along quite nicely without us. There is an abundance of plant and other species and fruit trees. And yet there are also invasive species which need to be controlled.  This garden borders a nature reserve on one side and an affluent neighbourhood on the other. Invasive species are like the bullies in an eco system-they give no space for other plants to grow and they block out the sun and life of those around them. Humans can now have a practical interaction to clear away what is not needed and allow Nature to find a balance, cut back, prune, listen, observe.

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The crowd split into groups and each share their design ideas with permaculture principals in mind. There is a wonderful exchange of wisdom from experienced heads and some good designs are born. Of course the resources of time and money are the main limiting factors as well as balancing the needs of Agi and Mark with the needs of the land. Some pearls of wisdom emerge from the group and I summarise the best for the short term plan…

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Use the resources of  your friends to help you to listen to the call of the land. I wish them stamina  and many friends to clear the spaces and let the beauty of nature unfold. With a raw food business enterprise also newly started by Agi and Mark, there is the possibility of gathering edible wild flowers and herbs from the space to share with others. Agi and Mark are a good blend of inspired courage and steady hands and I am put in mind of the head, heart and hands trilogy to answer the call of the land.20150613_152501

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Neighbours from a nearby garden on this hill invite some of the group to look at how they are getting on. We share ideas, songs and knowledge before sharing the pot luck picnic Mark and Agi co-ordinated for the day.

Cultural Exchange

In the evening some of the group walk to the local bar and are met by wonderful kind Hungarian people unused to visitors in the area. After some pleasant exchanges of songs and humour, the group are given a souvenir from the bar owner of a glass to take back to Ireland. The Irish extend the invitation to visit the glass in East Clare Community Co-op coffee shop where it will be housed for health and prosperity.

 

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Fionnuala

The Four Elements Workshop

A Nature based workshop from a participant’s perspective by Sam Holmes, Ireland.

On a Friday afternoon in Hungary, the Future of Food group went into the forest for a nature based workshop. The workshop was led by Fionnuala from Ireland and involved thinking about and being open to the four elements of nature: Air, Earth, Water and Fire.

We first of all began by getting into pairs of two in order to take the walk from our base into the forest. On the walk we were asked to think about and tell our partner when we are most in our element. Fionnuala explained that this meant when we are most alive and happy and when time can pass us by. It was an interesting exercise telling someone that you didn’t know very well about what you do to take yourself away from the stresses of everyday life. It really made you think about the times when you are in a good space and how it is so important to take yourself there on a regular basis.

When we arrived in the forest, we found a beautiful spot under the trees where seats had been made from the trees of the forest that we were in. We sat in a circle and Fionnuala explained what the workshop was about and what we were going to do over the next hour. She explained that we were in this beautiful place in order to become open to the natural elements. She advised us to find a place alone in the forest where we could feel at ease and come into close contact with the four elements of nature. She gave us examples of ways of doing this such as putting our faces up to the sun or by touching the earth with a part of our body that we wouldn’t normally touch the earth with. So we all went our separate ways to look for a spot on our own where we could think about, experience and feel air, earth, water and fire.

I disappeared up the hill and spotted a big area with a ray of sunshine falling through the trees. I stood in this spot, closed my eyes and lifted my face to the sun. The feeling of the heat was intense and wonderful. A feeling not often experienced in Ireland where I live. I felt completely blissed out and time certainly passed me by until I realised that I had three other elements to experience.

My head was aching so I thought I would do something I had never done before and place my forehead onto the earth. I looked for a clear area of ground as most of it was covered with decomposing leaves but saw a perfect spot. I knelt on the ground and put my forehead onto the earth. The contrast was incredible. My face was hot from the sun and suddenly it was cold from touching the cool ground. I gave my headache to the earth and it was wonderful. I knelt there for quite a while and at the same time concentrated on the feeling of the breeze on the back of my legs. The feeling was very slight as there was not much wind but I imagined the day before when the wind had been strong and I had been walking alone with my arms outstretched. The feeling had been one of instant cooling from the element of air. The sun was hot in Hungary and the wind had brought great relief from it.

I brought myself back to the present and remembered that I had still to find the water element. I lifted my head up from the ground and noticed a tree stump to my left. The stump seemed to be soaking wet so I placed my hands face down onto the damp surface. I closed my eyes and felt the cool dampness on my hands. When I opened my eyes I looked for a token to take back to the circle as Fionnuala had asked. I saw decomposing leaves all around. They interested me as, I feel, they signify the entire process of nature in a wooded environment: from life to death and then feeding back into the earth to nourish growing all over again. I picked up some of the leaves and walked back to the group circle.

Once we had all arrived back Fionnuala asked us to sit back to back with our original partner and explain to each other how our experience had been. Once we had done this we went around the circle one by one and told the group how this exercise had affected us and why we had brought back the token from the forest that we had chosen.

This nature based workshop was a fantastic exercise. Personally I do spend time walking in the woods at home but this exercise really helped me to connect with nature on a different level.

 

 

Fionnuala

Story from a learner on the Future and Past of Food.

Marie…my food experiences
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My name is Marie, I come from the west of Ireland. I grew up on a little farm on the side of a mountain. We always grew our own vegetables in large plots in a field near the house. I have four brothers and we all had to help grow, weed and harvest the vegetables every year. This is where my love of food and growing food started.

I remember when the peas would have to be picked and we would all gather in our kitchen, with any neighbours who would like to join in, and we would all depod the peas and my mother would blanch them and freeze them straight away. Any of them that hadn’t been eaten raw that was! The same would have to be done with carrots and turnips. Hard work but we enjoyed it. We would have lots of cabbage also and many potatoes of different types which would depend on the time of year. We would have fruits as well, raspberries, strawberries, apples, rhubarb, gooseberries and bilberries which we would pick in the wild and eat fresh or make jams and preserves.

From that time onwards I would always grow as much food as I could for myself and later on for my children. Sometimes with varying degrees of success but I would have learned from my parents much of the experience that I needed, but not all because I would try to grow a lot of vegetables that my parents wouldn’t have. My children would also help out in the garden as I did so the skills and experience can be passed on. They would not yet grow as much as I do but they are still young and my hope would be that when they have their own place and families that it is then the information handed down will come in to play. I think we are in danger of losing the skills and experiences of generations before us if we don’t continue this practice of handing down information.

I have had many jobs down through the years but now I have begun a new chapter in my life by getting a job at East Clare Community Co-op near my home in Ireland. I am so pleased to be working here because they have gone back to the old ways of growing your own food for consumption as near to source as possible. Here they grow vegetables and herbs both outside and in tunnels which they use in the Vegetarian Café attached. The food is beautiful, of course, because it is so fresh. I am still learning so much about food, growing, harvesting and now I eat vegetarian food most of the time and I feel so much better for it. I have also started a horticulture course once a week,, I guess you are never finished learning..

My job at the Co-op has led me to get involved with The Future of Food.  This initiative, which is supported by the EU, is a two year programme exploring sustainable food. It has been the most amazing experience for me and I am learning so much. The programme is being run by five co-ordinators from Hungary, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Holland. These people have a definite common belief in the future of food on our planet and they want to make a difference in the world.

These few passionate people started making a small difference two years ago and now a small group of people are making a big difference to future of food awareness. They are to be commended hugely for their dedication and hard work in helping grow awareness that our planet is green and must be sustainable for us to survive.

 

I must admit that I have made a reconnection with nature and food and all that is important that surrounds us since I met these people. I find myself going back to my childhood experiences. We all know the facts; they are in the media and reminders around us all the time. We know that the bees are in trouble if we don’t do something but who is doing something about it. We know that intensive production of crops is not sustainable. It is up to all of us to do our bit to help out even if it is only to recycle properly. Reuse old materials. We should not just make a difference, we should be the difference. We have the information in our heads but we need to listen to it more and act on it.

One person I met who lives in a large city has started a community garden in her own neighbourhood, which is a Ghetto. They started the garden in a small unused plot and it is used by the surrounding people for their own use only. They do not sell anything they grow, it is for their own use but only the people who work in the garden may take food from the garden. This is the type of initiative we need to be taking. It is one of many such wonderful projects emerging in Cities around the world. There can be free food made available to everyone. Think about it! Why not plant fruit trees which can be accessed by anyone. Imagine a homeless person in a city, or anywhere, walking up to a tree and picking an apple to eat beside a person who is well off. Why not? Make people aware of the wild berries, plants and herbs that grow in our hedgerows around us every day. There are so many edible plants that we walk by every day and we don’t even know about it. It is all about awareness and the passing on of information. Something to think about!!

My journey with Future of Food has only begun and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. I am very excited to be going home with my bellyful of information, my new outlook, enthusiasm and the importance of teaching and passing on what I know and what I am learning. If we could all grow half of what we eat imagine the impact it would have on the planet and your pocket as well as your well-being. How lucky am I to be able to make a difference to the world. You can do it too!

Fionnuala

Hungarian Meeting Diary – Overview

Hungarian meeting-June 11th-16th

Agnes Repka the Hungarian co-ordinator organised the final meeting in Kelemen Majorsag,  in Piliscsev, about an hour from Budapest.

Day One-

We started with a welcome circle where each participant introduced themselves and spoke for a little time around their expectations for the week. This was followed by Sebastian outlining informal learning for those who were new to the concept and each person was invited by the co-ordinators to write on the “walls” any ideas, queries, complaints and also practical  arrangements for the day trip to Budapest in terms of trains, cars etc. This was a good way to settle participants and give them a chance to ground into the experience.

We had a Tour of the farm where we were staying. See the story and picture here!

 

Day 2

Woodland counsel – Strategy for learners to share their learning – Common sense time – Nature based learning  – Cultural slot

Day 3

Today we visit Budapest in all her glory. We start with a tour and talk by Era in her newly established place (3 years) in and share a wonderful lunch there. It is both a social enterprise and a business. One side is for education on how to work with food and the shop on the other side of fresh local produce. As there is a shop full of wonders, we are queuing to purchase things from the region. They are a buyers social enterprise and they try to use only items from within a 50km radius. 90% of what we eat is local with the exception being tea and coffee and a couple of other items on sale. In these cases they have a personal relationship with the grower so are assured of fair trade. We are impressed and meet the volunteers who keep the place afloat. They employ people in the shop as it makes a profit but we are told it would not be possible without a big voluntary effort. It reminds me of so many of the best initiatives and NGO’s, without voluntary effort they simply could not function. The best things (people!) in life are free. Or to re-phrase only the best people give of their time and energy for free and it would be a lesser world without such efforts.

New garden Enterprise.

We are taken to the new Garden of Hungarian Co-ordinator Agnes Repka and partner Mark and are given the freedom and materials to  Meitheal (irl) andecha (spain)  to create the shelter from the sun. We find ourselves drawn to build a shelter around a Hawthorn Bush. We shre the little knowledge we have from all our cultures. In Ireland it is a sacred fairy tree and considered unlucky to cut it down. we are welcomed by Agi and led in a permaculture workshop by Dutch Co-ordinator Monique Wijn with an invitation to design the space. They have just taken on a lease in the garden (2 weeks ago-the ink is barely dry!) and we are welcomed into a south facing slope which has been human free (abandoned?) for 4 years. It is dry and the water situation is as yet unclear. HMMMM. The interesting question of human and natural partnerships are explored. In some ways the garden in her natural glory is getting along quite nicely without us. There is an abundance of plant and other species and fruit trees. And yet there are also invasive species which need to be controlled.  This garden borders a nature reserve on one side and an affluent neighbourhood on the other. Invasive species are like the bullies in an eco system-they give no space for other plants to grow and they block out the sun and life of those around them. Humans can now have a practical interaction to clear away what is not needed and allow Nature to find a balance, cut back, prune, listen, observe. The crowd split into groups and each share their design ideas with permaculture principals in mind. There is a wonderful exchange of wisdom from experienced heads and some good designs are born. Of course the resources of time and money are the main limiting factors as well as balancing the needs of Agi and Mark with the needs of the land. Some pearls of wisdom emerge from the group and I summarise the best for the short term plan…

Use the resources of  your friends to help you to listen to the call of the land. I wish them stamina  and many friends to clear the spaces and let the beauty of nature unfold. With a raw food business enterprise also newly started by Agi and Mark, there is the possibility of gathering edible wild flowers and herbs from the space to share with others. Agi and Mark are a good blend of inspired courage and steady hands and I am put in mind of the head, heart and hands trilogy to answer the call of the land.

Neighbours from a nearby garden on this hill invite some of the group to look at how they are getting on. We share ideas, songs and knowledge before sharing the pot luck picnic Mark and Agi co-ordinated for the day.

Cultural Exchange

In the evening some of the group walk to the local bar and are met by wonderful kind Hungarian people unused to visitors in the area. After some pleasant exchanges of songs and mutually understood humour, the group are given a souvenir from the owner of a glass to take back to Ireland. The Irish extend the invitation to visit the glass in East Clare Community Co-op coffee shop where it will be housed for health and prosperity.

Day 4

Morning Yoga and exchange of stretching exercises. From 7am members of the group from Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands have been meeting every morning to stretch and open to the day. It is so energising and inspiring to connect with each other and the morning air in this way. We are introduced to the idea of Earth Gym by Belinda. (See Picture below):

20150615_061626and earth massage by Carmen.

Opening Counsel in the woods.

We walk in silence to the woods observing the change in air, the change in light, the movements of plants and species and we collect some for identification later.

Creating Space for products.

By now everybody is clear on where they fit into the picture and how they can document their learning journey here. The fruits are dotted all over this website.

Open Space

This is space left open in the programme for people to fill with their own offerings. An offer comes from a participant to offer a reflexology lesson/session. This provides a welcome break for some who need the self-care. More time is given to programme before Gaza prepares a traditional Hungarian dish of paprika and potatoes. Yummy. And the Spanish co-ordinators sing over the food with a traditional song. Hungarian music fills the air and we are filled with gratitude for the food we eat, the farmers who grew it, the hands of Mark, Agi and Gaza who prepared it. Agi prepares what can only be described as heaven on a plate.

Cultural Visit.

We walk to the local wine cellars and a wonderful Hungarian couple invite us into their cellar which is over 100 years old and was at one time used as a hiding shelter. A strong sense of history emanates from the walls with all kinds of etchings. The kind hosts offer wine, palenka, traditional poppy seed and cherry cake(recipe). The host is a butcher and before long he brings out his own handmade sausages, one of which is wrapped in cheese. We are all astonished at their kindness and warmth and we think that people all over Hungary have been so very helpful and kind to us at all times. We are blessed to be here. We crowd into the dark cellar and take in its history. And yet the cellar is not as old as our Hungarian hosts grandmother who is 107 (picture) and there are 5 living generations-an Irish participant shares her similar story of 5 generations with her living grandmother who is 97. And talking of History, when the group return to the accomodation, Geza offers a story telling session where he outlines Hungarian history.

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Day 5

The final day of the meeting is spent in groups working towards completion of the project and the products we have committed to along the way.

Closing Cousel

Seb leads the group into the final circle and uses a ritual to close the week. It is a tool which resonates with the participants as we take our leave of this place, this soil, this slice of Nature we have shared as a learning community for the past week. Instead of taking away, we leave gifts in a circle to represent gratitude for what we have shared and the opportunity we have been given to learn, share and grow over the week.

Fionnuala

Dutch Programme Day 1

On Monday evening the learners arrived from the 4 visiting countries and had a chance to meet each other for the first time at the Uelensphiegel in Uffelte.

MW15 whitechakra4  Workshop ‘Chakra’s and food’

Belinda Van der pool arranged a beautiful welcoming workshop with food and the chakras. 7 plates of food were arranged in different colours, each representing a chakra. The learners were asked to first go to the plate that attracted them the least and then to the one they were most attracted to. Whilst some were attracted purely by colour, others by scent and one expressed he preferred the plate with local food one-a debate or theme that would re-emerge later in the week with Lydia’s Food thermometer exercise. This was a very welcome way to introduce people to the week-with vibrant colorful plates of food.

Fionnuala

The Harvest Festival Food Discussion Circle

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The Harvest Festival Food Discussion Circle

At our Annual Harvest Festival, we organised a space for people to gather and discuss “The Future of Food” and a full room of delegates from all corners of the world were invited to think about what sustainable food meant for them and to share their thoughts. The Spanish Co-ordinator Sebastian Burch facilitated the event with great skill and seamlessly managed to “harvest” the thoughts of every attendant in the exact time allocated!

Some thoughts and memories of the Gathering

There was a great deal of cultural diversity present in the room from 3 continents and 12 countries. This gave a sense of a broad and diverse discussion and the theme of sustainable took on a very different meaning for each person there. For example even among 2 Irish delegates, one saw sustainable food as a small-holding and rearing their own animals to eat, whilst another interpreted sustainable as meaning vegan -not eating animals at all. The common ground would be an agreement that the present mass meat industry is not sustainable, but the solutions were different.

Discussion turned to how food is presently produced and permaculture was sighted as a way to engage meaningfully with growing food without harming the planet. A theme emerged on the type of plants we choose to consume and through learning how to grow perennial vegetables, we can think about the long term effects of our diet choices. Perennial seems to make so much sense-saving  human labour and soil from apparently needless toil. The constant turning of soil might really be a waste of time, of energy and of the inherent forces of Nature.

Another theme that emerged was food preparation and nutrition-again there was a broad consensus that natural unadulterated foods, with minimal processing are the best foods for people and planet. One person recommended seed sprouting on windowsills for urban dwellers as a cheap way to ensure quality “live” nutrition when living in cities. This follows a theme of container gardening as a small but effective way of having availability to fresh foods all year round. Brendan Sanders, founder of Scariff Community Garden at East Clare Community Co-op, asserted it should be a basic human right for all people to have access to soil to grow their own food-whether urban or rural dwellers and that every school needs to seriously look at teaching food growing for children-is it as important as learning how to read, add numbers and learning about how to be a social being. He thought we need to start learning how to be responsible citizens on this planet. He asserted knowing how to save seeds, plant them, nuture them and grow clean food will grow healthy minds and bodies is a basic human right-ignored by many present educational systems. In Ireland there is an obesity epidemic-in common with many other countries in the “civilised” world where cheap, mass produced “food” laden with sugar and salt is the culprit, as well as a lack of good education on eating healthily. One attendant queried why are we in such a state with our diets?

After the circle closed, I reflected on the  conversation and I think there is a dilemma facing those in power. How can governments   please industries and corporate businesses and provide growing bodies with real, safe nutrition. There is a simple fact that an overweight person on a poor diet will feel hungry all of the time-their bodies are literally crying out for real nutrition but they are driven by advertising to want processed, denatured and dead foods lacking in vitality….so the more bad foods they eat, the more their bodies cry out and an obesity epidemic is the result. The future of food partnership is one real way to broaden discussion and grow our educational tools and learning materials on this vitally important subject-the future of food.

The anticipated growth in world population was my contribution to the discussion as I see a need to open a  conversation  about  the issue of sustainably feeding  the anticipated surge in population. From the global back to the local-and from the philosophical to the pragmatic- what can we do on a practical level? Where do we as individuals, as NGO’s , as smallholders, as communities, as youth workers, as educators and trainers and as social enterprises start? How can we free ourselves, our families and communities from the shackles of industrial food? Look no further than the end of your fork for the kind of future you are supporting, creating, shaping. It comes back to the power of individuals to buck global trends, one meal at a time.

 

 

Fionnuala

Kefir-fizzing good!

Kefir -A health boosting superfood!

During the Irish learning visit, learners were introduced to Kefir by local nutritionist Colette Mc Mahon from the TrueFood Academy, who is an advocate for the power of Kefir to restore vitality to weakened digestive systems. It is a fermented, enzyme-rich food and is known to regulate the immune system, through its strong pro-biotic properties. Specifically it  promotes the production of bile,  provides natural protection against diseases, improves blood circulation, regulates cholesterol and sugar levels, regulates blood pressure,  strengthens the kidneys, and even it supports the body in the quest against cancer, bone density loss and ageing. It provides excellent nourishment for everybody  especially those who have weakened immune systems. Why?  Immunity is thought to start in our guts where trillions of “good” bacteria and fungus kill the “bad” microorganisms, which keeps you alive and well so kefir  possesses both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which get to work in the digestive system. There are 2 types of Kefir commonly in use today, water and milk kefir. Water kefir is non-dairy and is made with fruit juices, coconut water, organic sugar and filtered water-It is recommended not to use tap water since the chemicals in it are thought to destroy the kefir. Although cows milk is more commonly used for milk kefir, it can also be made from other mammalian sources like goat, buffalo, camel and sheep. Non-dairy products can also be used like coconut milk, soy milk, nut milk and almond milk, however results may vary and nutrient sources are lesser as compared with the dairy milk products. Raw milk is best of all but even with pasterized milk, kefir grains manage to feed and ferment to a probiotic heaven!

A list of the more common probiotics that we regularly see in fermented foods include:

  • Bifidobacteria species
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus caucasus
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Acetobacter species
  • Leuconostoc

Both water and milk kefir grains are a reusable starter culture used to make a probiotic-rich drink with live, good micro-organisms in it. The dairy one produces a yoghurt type Kefir is both good to take when you are not well, but also to prevent poor health through establishing good gut flora. Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, that provide health benefits when consumed.  Scientists who studied kefir grains were surprised to discover that there is not a single trace of bad bacteria in the grains. They even injected Escherichia coli, bacteria that commonly inhabitant the intestines, but these were killed by probiotics. It seems that pathogenic organisms cannot exist anywhere near kefir.

Kefir in brown sugar (pictured left) and in yougurt (on right) There are many recipes on the internet for making your own kefir, hopefully after reading this article, you will be inspired to!

 

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Fionnuala

Hurry up and eat your slow food

Hurry Up and Eat your slow food

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Hurry Up and eat your slow food,

Stop making such a fuss,

Hurry up and eat your slow food

’cause we’re gonna miss the bus

The climate is is changing fast,

No time to sit and stare

We have to heal this planet

and show each other how to care

There is no time for digestion

We are really in a race

The ice caps they are melting

and are gonna flood this place

So hurry up and eat your slow food

Stop making all this fuss

Get it into you quickly

We have to catch that bus

No more time for self indulgence

We have to serve this land

So get up off your backsides

And give your heart and hands

Food is all around us

In forest, lake and sea,

We only need the knowledge,

So we can start to see

There was a black time in the past

When famine spread throughout the land

That time will come again for us

This you must understand

One million people starved to death

a population in sharp decline

A land was torn asunder

but monoculture does not mind

They relied on one potato

which was ruined with blight

And Ireland’s sons and daughters

died or just took flight

What is this stuff we’re eating

Does it grow here on our soil

or is it the production

of some poorer person’s toil

It’s time to wake and shake ourselves

We’ve been sleeping for too long

We need to courage to use our voice

to admit we have been wrong

We have to work together

Move past our egos call

We all hold a part of the jigsaw

But none of us hold them all

Communities across the world

are growing day by day

to take charge of their resources

and finally have their say

And now I really have to go

The future of food is ours to choose

But if we choose the passive route

Then all of us will lose

So hurry up Get into slow food

Take your time and make your choice

If it don’t look like its natural

Then have courage and use your voice

Your food is your liberation

from the shackles of industry

take time to grow and know your food

and your struggle will set you free

set you free set you free

and your struggle will set you free