The Irish countryside has experienced a seismic shift in the past twenty years. With the decline of farming, country living has become a pass time rather than an occupation.
When did the nation that was married to the land lose its inner culchie?
In our recent past food and eating were one of the ways in which we redefined ourselves. The spud went out the window. In came prosciutto and sushi. Irish cooking and Irish chefs flourished but the land it was produced on became something we didn’t want to know about – wellies were for music festivals. Our connection with countryside and growing food disintegrated. We failed to relate what was on our plate to how we lived.
This is the first book in Ireland to talk about where food really comes from, who decides what we buy and why what we eat says so much about us. It encompasses everything from take away pizza to Irish farmhouse cheese and everything in between: the land, the farmers, producers, suppliers and supermarkets. The authors argue that in our rush to become urban, cosmopolitan and economically progressive, we have forgotten about what we are really good at. Food and farming have been good servants to Ireland – they could be something that make us truly great. ‘Basket Case’ examines the seismic shifts taking place in this country and asks if we’ve lost touch with one of the few things we did better than everybody else.
Can food, farming and finding our inner culchie save Flash Paddy from himself?
About the Author
Philip Boucher Hayes joined RTÉ in 1993. He is the Radio Investigative Unit reporter and presents the RTÉ 1 television series Buyer Beware. Suzanne Campbell produced and directed television programmes for RTÉ including the food and farming series Ear to the Ground. Through their work in television and radio Philip Boucher-Hayes and Suzanne Campbell have spent many years standing in rainy fields talking to farmers, looking at food labels and eating their way around the world. They live in North Wicklow with their young daughter.
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