Changes afoot at Ballymaloe LitFest | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe
The Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine, widely regarded as one of the best food festivals in the world and which attracted an audience of more than 8,000 people to the cookery school and hotel in Shanagarry, Co Cork last May, is to undergo a radical overhaul in 2017.
From next year, the event will be known as the Ballymaloe Food & Drinks Literacy Festival, or LitFest – as in previous years – but with an emphasis on food literacy, responsibility and sustainability, rather than food and drink literature.
Rory O’Connell, director of the three-day festival, which will run on May 19th-21st next year, describes food literacy as being “about knowing about the food that you eat – where it came from, who produced it, it if is good for your or if it is bad for you”.
Explaining the thinking behind the departure, O’Connell said: “The festival has moved with what’s happening on the planet, and we realise now we’re between a rock and a hard place, and if we don’t start to do something about it, we’re going to be in trouble.
“The conversations at the festival started, year one, specifically about recipes, writers, beautiful prose about food and drinks. Then we started to think, well that’s all very lovely, and we’re very lucky and fortunate people, but you know what, we need to get to the nitty gritty here. We need to know how we are going to be able to sustain the beautiful things that we are lucky enough to eat and drink.”
The symposium in The Grainstore at Ballymaloe will once again involve a daily programme of talks, panel discussions, and contributions “from both the published and the not yet published”, with responsibility as the theme.
“When we go shopping, we have a responsibility, we need to know where the food came from, who produced it, how it was produced, if the producer got paid enough, how far it travelled, all of those things,” O’Connell said.
This article origianlly appered in the Irish Times you can read the original article here


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Litfest - A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
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