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Legislation that would require restaurants to list the amount of calories next to items on their menus has been proposed in Ireland.
The proposal would require restaurants to mark calories beside each item as well as price, or it could require a ‘traffic light’ system which has been used in the UK for a few years.
The move comes reportedly as part of the government’s Obesity Action Plan as Ireland has one of the highest obesity rates in the EU27 and is set to become the fattest nation in Europe in the next few years.
Ireland does not have the strong food culture and traditions of other European nations like France and Italy due to hundreds of years of colonisation, it does, however, have exceptional local produce and is surrounded by some of the richest fishing grounds in the world, the North Atlantic.
Chefs like JP McMahon, founder of Food On The Edge, Ireland’s biggest symposium on food and food culture which takes place in Galway on Ireland’s West coast is a passionate activist in the resurgence of Ireland’s indigenous cuisine and culinary identity. He expressed dismay at the new calorie idea, claiming it's short sighted and "lazy".
A very lazy way to teach people about food. How about we invest in proper food education at schools, from primary to third level. We teach children nothing about food and then hope they'll understand the role of food in our health and society through osmosis. Wake up Ireland. https://t.co/rKwNjta6pv— Jp McMahon (@mistereatgalway) February 27, 2019
McMahon tweeted his displeasure at the current proposals and instead pushed for better food education in schools.