The Long-Field

“We have all grown up with the Long-Field. City folk see it as green ditches with no footpaths as soon as they have escaped the urban. Cattle and sheep view it as manna from heaven when they escape out on to it from their closures and rural folk, well rural folk are always delighted to inform their fellow farmers that it is their stock that has escaped onto the Long – Field and not their own”

Evan Doyle of “Strawberry Tree” fame talks about his passion for Wild Food, a feature of his restaurant.

Evan goes on to describe the Long – Field;

“The Long – Field is the 327,258 km of 543px-PerfectStrawberryIrish grass verges and hedge rows. Our lush damp climate produces a stunning array of wild foods, from fresh spring herbs to summer berries to autumn mushrooms and nuts”

His chefs can be seen out foraging for nettles for the” Wild Nettle Tea”and Dillisk for oatcakes. Or wading for seaweed for “Wild Carrigeen and Wild Prawn Bisque”.   They pick wild garlic for the “Wild garlic, leek and potato bake” and mushrooms for the “Wild St. Georges mushroom, spinach and gorgonzola risotto”. They are gathering Wild Sea Beet, Wild Rock Samphire, Wild Sorrell and others, all to put into delicious dishes. The book is full of recipes.

“Wild Food” is an eye opener to the harvest nature provides. “Wild Food” by Biddy White Lennon and Evan Doyle is published by O’Brien Press. The Strawberry Tree, Macreddin Village, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow.

 

Guinness Sapeurs

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“In life you cannot always choose what you do

But you can always choose who you are

We are the Sapeurs, the Elegant Persons of the Congo

You see my friends

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

This classy commercial is the latest in the Guinness, Made of More,  portfolio

Guinness choose the Sapeurs, a brightly dressed group of Congolese to persuade the young European audience to do like they do and become masters of fate and captains of  soul.

Some would question the use of this device – those who lost relatives fighting for the UN in the Congo for one. Parents who don’t want their kids going down a road in war-torn Africa for another.

This is a carefully crafted commercial that deliberately excludes any mention of the core ingredient in Guinness – alcohol, no health warnings and no advice as to safe limits of consumption.

The Right to be Informed

On March 15, 1962, President John F.Kennedy presented a speech to the United States Congress in which he extolled four basic consumer rights, later called the Consumer Bill of Rights. The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection expanded these into eight rights and thereafter Consumers International adopted these as a charter and started recognising March 15 as World Consumer Rights Day.

The second of the 4 basic rights is the right to be informed. The right states that businesses should always provide consumers with enough appropriate information to make intelligent and informed product choices. Product information should always be complete and truthful.

Source; Wikipedia

So the consumer has a right to know.

Most businesses comply with the Guidelines responsibly, particularly in the food and drink category, which is fundamental to health and well-being. If you buy a pack of yogurt or a bottle of water there will be analysis of the nutritional information on the label. There is one exception.

Advertising and marketing communications for alcohol products does not mention alcohol or give any information directly to the consumer, either in advertising or on pack. For a toxic drug like alcohol the only reference on the bottle or can is “alc. 4.5% by vol.” in the case of beer. The word “alcohol” is not mentioned in advertising. Instead you will see ” Drink …….sensibly, visit drinkaware.ie, or .co.uk” So the consumer has to go to another source to get essential  information on alcohol.

It is hard to reconcile this situation of providing the consumer with little or no information on alcohol, with the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection.

7 REASONS TO GIVE UP ALCOHOL FOR A MONTH AND EMBRACE BEING SOBER

Handbag.com//uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com

Why should you go sober for a whole month?

Lose weight

Empty calories are defined as those that provide energy without nutritional value – something that alcohol has in spades. A large (250ml) glass of wine contains an average 170 calories per serving. Drinking one of those a day (which is well within the recommended safe drinking levels for women) adds up to a whopping 61,880 extra calories a year. So that a single glass of wine could cost you an extra 18lbs of weight in one year alone.

Avoid alcohol dependence

Does it worry you that you can’t watch TV without a glass of wine, see your friends without a gin or enjoy a burger without a beer?

We’re not saying you are on the highway to alcoholism, but taking a break is  a good way to stop both physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.

To improve your skin

Alcohol wreaks havoc with a carefully maintained youthful glow. But just five days off the pop could see a huge improvement.

It dehydrates the skin and slows down circulation, leaving the complexions looking dull and dry. Not only is booze a nutritional black hole, but it depletes the body of vital minerals that contribute to healthy skin.

Long term drinking can lead to broken capillaries and aggravate or cause eczema or psoriasis, while sluggish liver and kidney function emphasises bags under the eyes.

Lower your tolerance

The more you drink, the higher the tolerance to alcohol becomes. According to Drinkaware.co.uk, your liver builds up an enzyme to metabolise alcohol, and the more you drink, the more of this enzyme you have.

This means you will have to drink more to get the same effects which is obviously bad for your body. Taking a break will allow those enzymes to deplete.  Good for your liver and your wallet.

Save money

It’s not all about your liver you know. December is an expensive month, and giving up booze will do wonders for readdressing the balance of your wallet. Just think how cheap a meal out is without two bottles of 20 pounds wine?

Improve your memory

Alcohol can damage your brain cells by effecting the ends of neurons. This can lead to memory loss, affect brain function and there is growing research that regular drinking can increase your chances of getting dementia.

Reduce your risk of cancer

There’s no denying the link between drinking and cancer. In fact alcohol causes around 4% of cancer cases in the Uk every year – that’s about 12,500 cases.  So giving your body a break can be no bad thing for your organs

Jagermeister, Give it a shot

Bus shelter advert
Bus shelter advert
  • This is an advert for a bottle of 35% strength alcohol
  • There is no mention of alcohol anywhere
  • There is no health warning, no advice regarding safe limits of consumption
  • The headline “Give it a shot” could be taken to encourage binge drinking
  • It is positioned at bus stops so can be seen by those under the legal age limit
  • It is designed to appeal to young people who engage in “Shot Drinking”
  • The advert includes the caption” Drink Jagermeister responsibly, visit drinkaware.ie”
  • There is a Facebook logo to direct the audience to the Jagermeister site

St. Stephen’s Day, Leopardstown

Leopardstown, St Stephen's day 13 014

The horses going out for the 3rd race in the chill December sunshine

St Stephens Day racing in Leopardstown has a special feel, even more so when Aidan O’Brien says hello

There is the top class racing, serious racegoers looking to make a few euros and check out the form for Cheltenham in March. The roar from the stands is back, haven’t heard that in five years

It’s also a glue-pot  for the young, gorgeous – glamour is everywhere. You see them struggling up the drive in their platforms

Ridiculously dressed (undressed) for a day in December, great anticipation, excitement though

Its early in the day, yet you see a lot of the guys already with drink in hand making their way in.

T here’s a  heap of cans and bottles at the entrance, taken off them as they go in.

What shape will they be in later? Well able to talk to the girls? I doubt it

They don’t need drink, they’re smashing looking fellas

Silly really

 

Benefits of being alcohol free

There are multiple benefits to being alcohol free, new ones emerge every day

Below is my top ten:

1. HEALTH, both physical and mental, my brain is free from alcohol attack  and insides are cleaned up dramatically

2. WEALTH,  savings of 20,000 euros in cash at least, over two and a half years

3. WEIGHT, ugly fold of flesh around the middle is gone

4. FOOD, more fruit and vegetables, less red meat, chicken with garlic and ginger – yummy

5. KNOWLEDGE, genned up on the effects of alcohol, terribly toxic, no going back now

6. RESPECT, for oneself, from those around you, no more  disrespect to others while drunk

7. TIME, precious, more of it, to do all sorts of things

8. LESS GLOOMY, alcohol can be very depressing

9. NO MORE EXCUSES, eg, worked hard today,  so have to reward self with a few pints

10. NOT DEPENDENT,  was constantly on the look out  for the next drinking opportunity

Hence Drinkawaste.com, alcohol is a waste of health, a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste of life

Full swing..

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December 21, the shortest day. Sun comes up around 8.30

On the farm the horses go out, there’s no grass, there’s no fighting, no squabbling

Downtown Dublin is different. Last big shopping day, pubs are packed

Get out of the rain, go for a drink.  Meet friends, go for a drink

It’s Christmas go for a drink. Go to mass, go for a drink

On  Christmas Day, come to us for a drink. Only if you come to us on St. Stephens Day

For a drink.

The barriers are down, no caution, no restraint

Is everybody happy? No way, there’s much fighting, squabbling going on in the human world

Alcohol has a tight grip – that’s the difference

It’s Christmas alright, better go for a drink so

Is there a safe limit?

Alcohol is a toxin that kills cells such as microorganisms, which is why we use it to preserve food and sterilise skin, needles etc. Alcohol kills humans too. A dose only four times as high as the amount that would make blood levels exceed drink-driving limits in the UK can kill. The toxicity of alcohol is worsened because in order for it to be cleared from the body it has to be metabolised to acetaldehyde, an even more toxic substance. Any food or drink contaminated with the amount of acetaldehyde that a unit of alcohol produces would be immediately banned as having an unacceptable health risk

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption. The idea that drinking small amounts of alcohol will do you no harm is a myth

Professor David Nutt/www.guardian.co.uk

The combination of  alcohol/acetaldehyde and calories/sugar is a potent double threat to human health that most drinkers are unaware of.