It’s really Christmas now though I haven’t bought a single present yet. In truth I’m still trying to decide what to buy for the loved ones and the beloved.
In recent years I’ve taken more to buying food for the family. Buying food and food hampers for people at Christmas is I think a lovely gift it says a lot more than a phone or the fall back gift card and it represents our culture as farmers too. Buying Irish food supports lots of local jobs as we know but increasingly it’s getting harder to buy ‘real’ Irish food. It’s something a good friend of the show, chef JP McMahon has been battling on for a few weeks now and he’s right. Too many big supermarkets are buying in foreign produced food products, packing them in Ireland and sticking on the Irish label to them.
Its lead to Orange’s from Ireland. (I’m not kidding) Scottish lamb and as a good friend of the website pointed out to us on Monday foreign ham coming into our Christmas markets. The big players have made it hard to decipher what’s Irish grown and produced and what’s not but a general rule of thumb is to ask. And if you can do it, ditch the foreign product.
When buying your Turkey and yes it’s a costly thing we need to ask our butchers is it local? Is it Irish? Every Irish Turkey we buy supports Irish jobs and what’s more it’s probably had a lot better life here on the home sod.
It might sound preachy of me to harp on about this but with rural Ireland facing a tough year coming up with prices for sheep, beef and pigs set to fall, now more than ever we need consumers to shop local. It starts with us too. Every €10 spent in the local economy generates €24. Those are great figures just think about that.
Rather than getting into the car and bypassing the village, spend that few pound there. The money we spend in the big supermarkets isn’t staying in the local area and if we keep bypassing the local village eventually there won’t be one at all.
I think I know what I’ll be buying for the beloved. She’s a big fan of cooked hams!