Growing food once changed the course of history. It led to settlements, cities, industrialisation, and, ultimately, a deeply complex food system characterised by corporate power, environmental decay and waste. Somewhere along the way, we became removed from where our food comes from. But - if we grow food, reconnect and care about food - we can change the future’s course. Food Done Right is a new podcast series exploring how we eat and how growing some of our own food helps us to rethink the system we’re a part of. Changing how we eat is one of the greatest transformations we must achieve in the coming years. A food system defined today by its destruction of nature can become one that brings about regeneration. Food growers get to know this. A world full of food growers can create this change from the ground up.
Food Done Right: In Care
The food given to the sick, or those in institutional care, says a lot about the value we place on it in society. Hospital food has long exemplified a degraded view of food, but Joyce Timmins' efforts at Rotunda Hospital have won her awards and sparked a new conversation. Horticultural therapist Rachel Gerrard coordinates the garden at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, where growing is integral to recovery and homegrown food makes its way onto patients' plates.
Food Done Right: In Restaurants
Chefs play a major role in determining food trends. Advocacy specialist Paul Newnham works to mobilise chefs globally to take action towards addressing SDG2, Zero Hunger. In what might seem contradictory, this movement includes high-end restaurants, where the trends these top chefs create have the potential to change food culture more widely. At Michelin starred Aimsir, Tom Downes describes how he left his role in the kitchen to take over the on-site farm, seeking to educate the food world about the importance of hyperlocal, seasonal food.
Food Done Right: At Work
The major global tech companies have created their own food culture over the last decade, characterised as excessive and wasteful at times, but trail-blazing elsewhere. Airbnb's former Executive Chef Maurice McGeehan explains more, before detailing the food needs of very different professionals - Irish rugby players. Tim Holmes then takes us behind the scenes of the veg garden tended by the team that bring us Guinness.
Food Done Right: In The Community
Northern Europe is generally a good place to look for how the world should function sustainably. In Holland, Geert van der Veer's organisation Herenboeren enables groups of 200 people to co-invest in a farm and take control of the food supply in their area. In a housing estate in Kildare, Pat Pender and his neighbours have transformed wasted land to do the same at an even more local level.
Food Done Right: At School
School closures during lockdown revealed the dependency so many children have on school meals. Serial food entrepreneur, writer and researcher Michelle Darmody explains how it also revealed the quality of these meals and the lack of emphasis on food literacy in our education system. On the opposite side of the world in Zambia, teacher Charles Banda is working to address similar problems by creating his own school garden, inspired, somehow, by GIY's TV series Grow Cook Eat.
Food Done Right: At Home
The global food system is at its worst in American households. Roger Doiron campaigned for the White House to create a kitchen garden to help educate Americans about their food, which has survived the tumultuous transitions of power over the last decade. One former Obama campaigner turned Irish resident, Erin Fornoff explains how growing food can be done anywhere, including the roof of her houseboat.