Nowadays, citizens of Ireland can access an enormous variety of foods, some of which are home-grown and many more imported. At the rear of this section, a modern-day scene in a supermarket is shown, reflecting the key role that large food retailers now play in many people’s lives (Illustrator: John McCord). At this time of increasing consumption and more diverse cuisines, the development of sustainable production and consumption practices has become an important goal for many stakeholders in the Irish food industry.
FEATURED PLANT IN FIFTH SECTION
Chilli peppers belong to the Capsicum (pepper) genus, and they reflect our shift towards a more globalised diet. While chilli peppers can be grown indoors in Ireland, most are imported. Archaeological evidence indicates that domestication of various Capsicum species occurred in different locations around Central America, South America and the Caribbean, with some species domesticated at least 6000 years ago by indigenous peoples.
In recent decades, increased travel, both into and out of Ireland, has dramatically influenced and broadened food preferences. The modern Irish diet is now a combination of Irish produced foods and imported exotics.