Climate Aware Seasonal Kitchen
October 2022 - February 2024
The CIHEAM Chania Sustainable Agriculture Dept. and Kitchen are partners in the EU Erasmus+ project CASK, led by the Irish National Ecology Centre (www.sonairte.ie), together with European Audio Visual (www.eurav.com) that addresses the relationship between food imports and the climate crisis and encourages the enjoyment of local sustainable and seasonal food.
Food market globalisation, increased foreign travel and immigration have resulted in a continually growing demand for ‘foreign’ food in Ireland, resulting in an annual food import cost of 1 billion euros and huge carbon footprint, while high quality local produce is less preferred. MAICh will provide consultation in sustainable agricultural production and practical instruction as experts in the Cretan diet – the purest form of the Mediterranean diet - renowned for its nutritional value and deliciousness, that forms the basis of the southern European cuisines most favoured by Irish consumers.
The CASK project will demonstrate how a Mediterranean-style diet can be formulated using local Irish ingredients. The diet will be healthy and appealing, and will satisfy local demand for ‘exotic’ dishes and support the local agricultural economy at far less cost to the environment. The programme will provide expert practical training to Irish chefs and other Food Service Industry Professionals in the ethos and practicalities of the Mediterranean diet, will assist in the substitution of key imported Mediterranean diet elements with high-quality local alternatives, and will help devise new recipes to be made freely available on video and as an electronic cookbook to encourage industry professionals and home cooks to produce appealing and healthy dishes with minimal carbon footprints.