Well-known TV nutritional expert and Dietitian, Aoife Hearne, will be dishing up a fresh look at Ireland’s favourite vegetable as the new Campaign Ambassador for Bord Bia’s ‘Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side’ initiative.
The announcement was made at Bord Bia Headquarters in Dublin where Aoife was joined by Eddie Doyle, Chairman of the IFA Potato Committee; Michael Hoey, President of the Irish Potato Federation, and Lorcan Bourke, Potato Sector Manager with Bord Bia.
The three-year campaign, aimed at encouraging consumption of the potato in Ireland, especially among younger consumers, is co-funded by the EU, Ireland’s potato industry and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
In her role as Campaign Ambassador, Ms. Hearne, a registered Dietitian and member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, will support the ‘Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side’ campaign through a series of media events, blogs and video posts.
96% of Irish families still buy potatoes on a weekly basis spending €163m* on them in 2015 making them the number one carbohydrate source purchased but consumption has been falling in recent years (by 20%* of retail sales over the last decade) particularly by those under 45, who view potatoes as a fattening, traditional and unexciting food.
Speaking about this trend, Aoife Hearne, Campaign Ambassador for ‘Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side’ said: “It’s really important that we dispel the myth that potatoes are fattening, when that is just not the case. Potatoes provide Irish people with a very important source of carbohydrates, which are essential for our bodies and particularly for brain function. Potatoes are a naturally fat and gluten free, a great source of fibre, Vitamin C and a variety of B vitamins. They also contain three times the amount of potassium of bananas.”
She added: “Potatoes are an unprocessed carb, an ideal way to provide the body with energy. Potatoes are a natural food, both versatile and delicious, making them a great food to include into the diet for all ages.”
Announcing Ms. Hearne as Campaign Ambassador, Lorcan Bourke, Bord Bia said, “We’re looking forward to working with Aoife on this campaign and to challenge the perception, particularly amongst women in the younger age groups that potatoes are fattening. Having Aoife on board will really help to build awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of potatoes. We’d also encourage people to be more adventurous in their use of potatoes by trying out a wide selection of quick and healthy recipes on the campaign website www.potato.ie , there’s plenty to choice of potato recipes from all over the world.”
Over 60 recipes from around the world are currently available on the website highlighting the versatility and nutritional benefits of the popular tuber. All are quick to prepare in under 30 minutes and contain between 300 and 500 calories.