The first/inaugural Galway Food Festival is taking place this weekend. For weeks now we’ve been watching as the plans and agenda for the weekend has developed.
Then, of course, family stuff got in the way and we thought we wouldn’t be able to go! Disappointed!
However, at the eleventh hour we got a chance…. family aren’t arriving until Sunday, so Saturday morning we had a quick look on line to see what was happening in Galway, and spotted two debates we wanted to attend.
Quick dash about and we were ready to head off.
The two ‘debates’ we wanted to attend were one on GM and the other was entitled The Role of Blogging and Social Media in Food Culture.
We arrived just in time for the GM debate, which wasn’t really a debate in that the organisers could not locate someone to come and argue the pro-GM side. I wonder why?
Seamus Sheridan who is now the Green Party’s spokesperson on Agriculture gave his views on GM – putting forward that it is hard to be totally against GM when we are sitting in a first world country and if GM can produce a flood resistant rice that will feed millions in a third world country – have we the right to stop it?
He also put forward the argument that GM can be beneficial in the medical industry.
There were others that joined in the discussion, but as no-one introduced themselves, I cannot tell you who they were. It was a very short period of time to discuss such a major issue, and some aspects of GM were skirted around. It would have been good to have more hard facts discussed.
The bottom line for people seemed to be
- the ethical issue,
- the biodiversity issue,
- the ‘unknown’ facts.
The room was packed to the gills with people who, I believe, were already on the ‘no to gmo’ side, as a lot of nodding in agreement was going on. Where will it all go from here? I don’t know. Will those who were there make their views heard? I hope so.
Next up was the debate around ‘social media and blogging’. The panel for this debate was made up of JP McMahon of Cava Restaurant, bloggers Mona from Wisewords and Anne Marie from Warm&Snug&Fat and, finally, a chap called Richie – whose site I didn’t catch, but who encourages restaurants to use social media.
The topics covered ranged from food/restaurant critiquing, Trip Advisor, dealing with negative comments, the role of blogging for restaurants and food producers, the ability to connect with suppliers and customers alike via social media.
There was very little interaction from the audience which was a pity, I felt.
If I could make suggestions to the Galway Food Festival committee for next year’s event, and I am sure there will be an event next year.
- It might be nice for any speakers at these debates to be asked to introduce themselves before they make their point.
- And in the case of the second debate I attended, it would have been convenient to put the names of the panel on the powerpoint with the names of the blogs/sites. (There were whispered questions along the back row for such information 🙂 )
Once the debates were over it was time for some fun.
We managed to have a lovely chat with Mona, The Chef and the kids…. hearing all about tooth fairies and the fear of teeth not growing back!
Then it was time for a wander around the stalls and grab a quick (very late) lunch, so what better than some lovely sausages from Castlemine…. they were very delicious – almost as good as our own 🙂
It was wonderful to see such vibrancy and a terrific buzz about Galway, and so many people out and about enjoying and talking about food.
Don’t you just love this little table top bbqs?
Sunday was spent with family, and today, Easter Monday is a slow day!
Hope you’ve had a good Easter and enjoyed your weekend. 🙂