A sign at the Spanish Arch in Galway city urging people not to feed the swans.

White bread – or, rather, ‘water standing up’ – can kill swans. So should we be eating it?

The White Hag stand at the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival in the RDS

Ireland is getting crafty as it rethinks its attitude to drinking, from quantity to quality and local culture

When you sat down at the table in that lovely restaurant, did you check your messages or switch off?  Photograph: Thinkstock

When it comes to cooking and eating, you need to switch your brain off to get all the benefits

Organically produced foods offer us more antioxidants which, it can be argued, are of key importance for our health

If you get lucky with the rod and catch some mackerel, gut, wash and rinse them in seawater before bringing them home. Photograph: Thinkstcok

Swimming in the ocean is akin to immersing ourselves in a bath of the fundamental elements of our universe

Sarah Roarty of N17 Brewery in Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Fotissima

Sarah Roarty’s brewing philosophy blends sustainability with opportunity

Asylum seekers queue for their meals in a direct provision facility. Photograph: Frank Miller

Not allowing asylum seekers to cook their natural ethnic foods is cruel and degrading

Dietary guidelines from industry professionals and university nutritionists emphasise the fact that people should eat ‘real food’. Photograph: Getty Images

Trust your granny when it comes to advice on healthy eating for you and your family

Factory farmed cows and chickens: ‘The intensification of animal farming has virtually destroyed the nutritional quality of our food,’ says Prof Michael Crawford, of London’s Institute of Brain Chemistry and Nutrition.  Photographs: Getty Images

Factory farming is based on cost – the animals do not count, and nor do the people in or near the factories

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