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Partly sunny
real feel: 22°C
wind speed: 2 m/s NNW
sunrise: 6:09 am
sunset: 9:02 pm


Food Safety Authority of Ireland Recall Iceland Chicken Products

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland have informed Iceland to recall batches of its Chip Shop Curry 4 Chicken Breast Toppers and its Southern Fried Chicken Popsters, due to the presence of Salmonella.

Point-of-sale recall notices will now be displayed in stores which were supplying the implicated batches; which name the country of origin as Poland.

These particular products refer to Iceland Chip Shop Curry 4 Chicken Breast Toppers; pack size: 400g; with best before dates: 27/02/2021, 17/03/2021 and 08/04/2021.


Iceland Southern Fried Chicken Popsters; pack size: 220g; best before date: 04/04/2021.

To remind our readers; Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects a consumer’s intestinal tract. The bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and is spread through faeces / excrement (Waste matter discharged from the bowels).


Homework Helper: Something Fishy

Learn about fish, water and angling with the help of the Irish educational programme ‘Something Fishy’.

‘Something Fishy’ is an Irish educational programme developed by the Central Fisheries Board (CFB) and Blackrock Education Centre (BEC). It is aimed at primary school pupils aged 10-13 years and teaches about fish, water, angling, and the overall environment.

The ‘Something Fishy’ programme comprises a ‘Kids Zone’ (View HERE), ‘Teachers Zone’ (View HERE) and ‘Resources Section’ (View HERE).

The eight lessons supported across the kids, teachers and resource zones enable children to learn about water; the life cycle of a salmon called Bradán; fish and nutrition and how to be a responsible angler, conservationist and environmentalist.

To learn more about the ‘Something Fishy’ programme visit HERE or contact ‘Something Fishy’, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Anglesea Street, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, by phone on +353 (0)52 618 0055 or by email at contact@fisheriesireland.ie

Help conserve our Irish waterways and protect our fish. Do remember you can report pollution or poaching 24 hours a day by phoning: 1890 34 74 24.


“Do Not Consume” Water Notice Issued For West Tipperary Border

Yesterday, May 9th 2020, Irish Water (Uisce Éireann) issued a “Do not consume notice” to several hundred customers, latter supplied by the Carrigmore Water Scheme; after elevated nitrate levels were discovered affecting homes on the Limerick/Tipperary border.

High levels of nitrate in ground water usually indicates an overuse of chemical fertilizers, or improper disposal of human or animal waste. Nitrate, however, can occur naturally in surface and groundwater, but at a level that does not generally cause health problems.

So what caused this problem? Irish Water refuses to comment.

A similar notice, from Irish Water, was issued with regard to Templetuohy village, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, in late January of 2020. Some 3.5 months later this notice appears to remain in place.

Currently it takes, on average, 27 minutes to make phone contact with staff in Irish Water, before being told “We don’t know”. Irish Water refuses to interpret; convey or chastise, publicly or privately, those responsible for “Dirty Farming Practises” mostly causing such high levels of nitrate in our drinking water.

We do understand bottled water has been delivered to those people impacted by the problem, but possibly only to those families with infants, as is usual according to an Irish Water official with whom we spoke.

Irish Water state it is O.K. to wash our bodies, clothing and cooking utensils in water contaminated by human and animal defecation.

At a time when HSE guidance on handwashing is considered totally essential; Irish Water stated yesterday that it was imperative that drinking water from this named water scheme supply is not consumed by infants. They also stated that same water could continue to be used for personal hygiene, flushing of toilets, for laundry and the washing of household utensils.

Note: Boiling such water in this case does not make the slightest difference in terms of reducing nitrate levels and therefore any affected water boiled, will continues to remain unsuitable for human consumption.

Could this be yet another pandemic waiting to destroy our very existence?

Remember our food sources do not have access to bottled water.


Cheap & Nourishing – That Bowl Of Nettle Soup

“If you touch a nettle gently it will sting you for your pain; grasp it like a lad of mettle, an’ as soft as silk remains”.

A 16th century recorded rhyme, later on quoted in the Sean O’Casey play, entitled “Juno and the Paycock”.

It had possibly emerged from some dark outbuilding or other shelter where it had waited out, dry and secure, the not so demanding conditions of our 2019 winter. I am referring to my encounter on Friday last with a handsome, yet lonesome Peacock Butterfly, latter which, of all things, instantly reminded me of nettle soup.

Peacock Butterfly

The Peacock Butterfly, one of the first of its species to be viewed in any springtime, derives its name from the pair of peacock-like eyes, latter so clearly displayed on its hind-wings, which make up just part of this adult butterfly’s defence mechanism.

Without touching, check if you can, its underwings, same is in complete contrast; its dull and mysteriously under markings designed to serve as camouflage, when found resting or hibernating, with wings folded close together.

Having found its smaller in size male mate; this female starts to lay its eggs, usually in May, choosing the tips of stinging nettles to deposit her large clusters of 300-400 eggs on the underside of the new seasons growing foliage. These beautiful adults, their role and contribution to new continuing life totally fulfilled, will die a short time afterwards.

Nettle Soup.

It was my grandmother who first introduced me to the delicious taste of cooked nettles and nettle water; latter the blackish water left over after nettles have been cooked and served up as an alternative fresh vegetable to others of the brassica family, e.g. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Kale etc..

Not ever found in bunches on today’s Supermarket shelves, Eliza Jane Brennan my grandmother was insistent in the 1960’s that growing children required that extra iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium; all so richly packaged in that humble nettle product, which in modern times we have quickly labeled as a noxious weed, its growth never to be encouraged.

Nettles also contain vitamins A, B, C and K, together with all of the essential amino acids, with many of its nutrients, for those who consume same, acting as antioxidants inside our bodies.

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica – from the Latin word uro meaning “to burn”) have been a staple in herbal medicine since ancient times. They were used by ancient Egyptians to treat arthritis and lower back pain, and by Roman soldiers to stay warm. If you have ever been stung by nettles you will quickly learn and fully understand the benifits gained by the Roman soldiers, stationed in colder climates.

Not surprising therefore that a Peacock Butterfly, should remind me of delicious nettle soup.

To make nettle soup the following ingredients are required: –
150g (5.3oz) of fresh young nettle tops.
A 35g (1.2 oz) knob of butter.
2 tbsp rice.
1 cube of chicken stock.
1 large chopped onion.
2 finely chopped leeks.
2 Sticks of celery finely chopped.
Salt and black pepper to taste.

Suitably atired with isolating gloves, pick your stinging nettles. After washing them thoroughly, (still gloved), melt your butter in a suitably sized saucepan over a medium-low heat. Next add the chopped onion, leeks and celery sticks before covering and sweating gently for about 9 or 10 minutes. (Do stir a few times to avoid contents browning). Next add the chicken stock followed by the rice, allowing all ingredients to simmer before further cooking for about 10 minutes.

Finally, add your washed nettles, stirring them in amongst the other ingredients. Simmer for between 3 to 5 minutes, ensuring the rice and the nettles are deemed tender, before adding seasoning using adequate salt and pepper to your preferred taste. Use your Stick Blender or other such chosen device, to combine together all ingredients into a smooth soup-like consistency.

Delicious, nutritious and “guaranteed to put hair on your chest”, as my grandmother often reliably informed me.


Could Vitamin D Help In Battle Against Covid-19?

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin highlight significant role played by Vitamin D in preventing respiratory infections and boosting the immune system

A study just published by researchers at Trinity College Dublin highlight the significant and important role played by Vitamin D in preventing respiratory infections and boosting the immune system. Given what scientists know about the benefits of Vitamin D, the researchers go on to highlight that Vitamin D may in turn play an important role in the battle against Covid-19.

Of particular importance to those over 70 years of age is the fact that the researchers are from The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing, (TILDA).

In their study they conclude: “…people aged 70 and over are the fabric of our society and we must use all available tools to facilitate the reduction and transmission of COVD-19. Vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient and if vitamin D status is sufficient, it could benefit vulnerable adults in particular those 70+ years and older who are ‘cocooning’ during the COVID-19 outbreak.” [ See page 22 at the link shown HERE.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the chemical compounds that we need in small amounts to stay healthy. We can get it from foods such as oily fish (e.g. salmon and mackerel), eggs, liver and cereals and milk fortified with Vitamin D. We also get it from the sun and it is made if we get 10-15 minutes per day of sun exposure.

Vitamin D Deficiency – who is at risk?

Many people in Ireland are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency particularly those whose diet lacks Vitamin D, those who smoke, those who are physically inactive and those who are obese. During winter the lack of sunshine prevents us in Ireland from making vitamin D with the help of the sun.

Rates of Vitamin Deficiency in Ireland.

The TILDA study provides data on the rates of Vitamin D deficiency in Ireland. TILDA estimate that 47% of all adults aged over 85 are deficient in winter; 27% of the over 70s are likely to be deficient, and that 13% of adults over 55 are deficient all year.

How can you prevent and treat Vitamin D Deficiency?

The editor of this article has no medical qualifications whatsoever and so if you are concerned about Vitamin D deficiency you should contact your GP. They can advise on changes to your diet and lifestyle. They may also recommend taking a Vitamin D supplement, with the TILDA report noting that to prevent a deficiency 10 ug is the minimum recommended daily amount during the winter time and between 15 -20 ug is recommended for most at risk groups.

For more information visit HERE.