RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Series 23: Programme 7

Ear to the Ground

KILKENNY FREE RANGE DUCKS AND GEESE
Mary Walsh of Kilkenny Free Range Ducks & Geese was a stay-at-home mum who always raised some ducks and chickens for the family pot. By the time her husband Tony retired and the kids had flown the coop, Mary decided she would start rearing ducks and geese for the Free Range Irish market.

With little more than a book of Ireland's top restaurants, Mary knocked on kitchen doors and used her charm and determination to become a significant supplier to some of the most esteemed restaurants in the capital such as Chapter One and Shanahans.

Helen Carroll meets Mary at her home in Co. Kilkenny and gets a master class on how to to cook and prepare duck from Michelin-star chef, Garrett Byrne.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Over one million tonnes of food is being wasted in Ireland each year costing us roughly one billion Euro. While we, the consumer, are carrying the brunt of the blame, we account for only one quarter of the total. As the food industry is producing more, prices are dropping and we are faced with the consequences - a serious obesity epidemic is on the rise and our farmers are relying on subsidies to stay afloat. Is it time Ireland's Agri-food industry chose quality over quantity? Ella McSweeney explores more.

SMART FARMING
Sustainability is a buzzword in most industries today, with pressure on all of us to reduce our carbon footprint and save the planet. Farmers are at the coalface, and for them sustainability means producing more from less. Smarter, less wasteful use of water, soil, animal waste, energy and machinery can make farming more profitable. More profit can make the farm more sustainable in the long term. Darragh McCullough examines the options.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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