Irish Slow Food Ark

Irish Slow Food Ark
The Irish Slow Food Ark collects information about food that is important to Ireland’s history, culture, economy and physical environment but is experiencing some kind of threat. The threat could come, for example, from loss of species, loss of traditional skills, neglect or high cost compared to industrially produced foods. The impact of such threats can be on taste, nutritional value or the environment in which the food grows. The term “Irish Slow Food Ark” refers to both this database and the process whereby a wide range of people continually contribute to it and revise it.

How does the Irish Slow Food Ark work?
The Irish Slow Food Ark works by the interaction of four groups of people:

1. You, the public, who send in to this blog information you have about Irish foods, food ingredients and food products; or ways of producing food, curing, preserving or cooking food that may have been forgotten or neglected for a variety of reasons

2. Members of Slow Food Convivia in Ireland who research and gather information in their local networks and meetings to propose foods for inclusion in the Irish Slow Food Ark

3. The members of the Irish Slow Food Ark Commission who have the task of sifting through all the information sent in by the public and Convivia members to decide if the proposed foods or food products meet the criteria set for acceptance into the Ark

4. The International Slow Food Ark, made up of the Commissioners of the national Arks, who set the criteria set for acceptance of foods into the national Arks around the world.
What is the Irish Slow Food Ark Commission?
The Irish Slow Food Ark Commission is the body that decides which foods are accepted into the Irish Ark, according to criteria set down by the Slow Food International Ark.
Members of the Commission are:
Myrtle Allen
John McKenna
Regina Sexton
Caroline Workman
Aveen Henry (Chair)

 What are the Criteria for accepting food products into the Irish Slow Food Ark?The following are the criteria set down by the International Slow Food Ark:

Criteria for Product Selection
1. Products must be of outstanding quality in terms of taste. Taste quality, in this context, is defined in the context of local traditions and uses.

2. The product must be linked to the memory and identity of a group, and can be a vegetable species, variety, ecotype or animal population that is well acclimatized over a medium-long period in a specific territory (defined in relation to the history of the territory). The primary material of the foodstuff must be locally sourced unless it comes from an area outside the region of production, in which case it must be traditional to use materials from that specific area. Any complementary materials used in the production of the product (spices, condiments, etc.) may be from any source, and their use must be part of the traditional production process.

3. Products must be linked environmentally, socio-economically and historically to a specific area.

4. Products must be produced in limited quantities, by farms or by small-scale processing companies.

5. Products must be threatened with either real or potential extinction. Source: Ark and Presidia, Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity

The International Slow Food Ark requires each national Ark to complete a summary sheet for each of the food products accepted into a national Ark. Please check back here for template

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