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Teagasc on RTÉ Brainstorm

RTÉ Brainstorm is a unique partnership between RTÉ, University College Cork, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, DCU, Technological University Dublin, Maynooth University, the Irish Research Council and Teagasc.

RTÉ Brainstorm is where the academic and research community will contribute to public debate, reflect on what’s happening in the world around us and communicate fresh thinking on a broad range of issues.

Read articles from Teagasc researchers that have featured below.


How can we enjoy a tasty, fatty meal without weight gain?

Researchers have been looking at how whey proteins could be the answer to this particular pickle. Foods rich in dietary fat are known to cause weight gain if consumed excessively, and yet we still eat them because they are tasty and are in abundant supply. Read the full article here

By Oleksandr Nychyk, Wiley BartonPaul D. Cotter and Kanishka N. Nilaweera

Dr. Oleksandr Nychyk is a former SFI-funded post-doctoral researcher in Teagasc and is now a Scientific Analyst at Eurofins/Janssen Biologics. Dr. Wiley Barton is a post-doctoral researcher with the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre at Teagasc. Prof Paul Cotter is the Head of Food Biosciences at Teagasc and a Principal Investigator with the Irish Research Centre, APC Microbiome Ireland, VistaMilk and Food for Health Ireland. Dr. Kanishka Nilaweera is a Senior Research Scientist and Funded Investigator in the VistaMilk Research Centre at Teagasc.


Why farm soils cause greenhouse gas emissions - and how to fix it

A large proportion of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions come from the loss of soil nutrients via applied fertilisers and other chemicals. Soil may not be the most 'attention grabbing’ headline, but it is definitely an important one. Read the full article here

By Rosie O’Neill

Rosie is a Teagasc Walsh Scholar based at the Teagasc Environmental Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford. She is assessing the impact of management factors on soil denitrifying communities and nitrogen emissions.


Who wants an insect energy bar or bug burger for lunch?

Just as no-one anticipated demand for soy-based sausages and seaweed burgers, there's another future food revolution swarming to our shops. Insects are high in protein and have rich amino and fatty acid profiles. Read the full article here

By Laura Healy

Laura is a Teagasc Walsh Scholar. Her project title is value addition to aqua culture seaweeds for novel functional food development.


Can we change our behaviour to prevent superbugs?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when we overuse or misuse antibiotics in animal health as well as human health. Antibiotic resistance makes essential antibiotics no longer effective. The invisible threat of antibiotic resistance is a health issue that urgently needs addressing by us all, from farmers to consumers. Read the full article here

By Alison Burrell and Áine Regan

Alison Burrell is a chartered health psychologist and post-doctoral researcher with Teagasc. Dr Áine Regan is a Research Officer (Social & Behavioural Science) with Teagasc.


What are Irish farmers' views on climate change?

Communities in the Atlantic area face challenges from changing temperatures and rainfall patterns, sea level rises and the impact of extreme climate events (such as storms, flooding and droughts) that could interrupt agricultural activity. Read the full article here

By Edel Doherty, NUI Galway; Sinead Mellett, Athlone Institute of Technology; Denis O'Hora, NUI Galway and Mary Ryan, Teagasc

Mary is a researcher based at the Teagasc, Rural Economy & Development Centre, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway


The secrets hidden in Irish townland names

The massive importance of agriculture in Ireland can be seen in how placenames recall past farming practices. These placenames are an invaluable inheritance that give us a distant perspective on how our ancestors used parts of their landscape. Read the full article here

By Jesko Zimmermann and Rob O'Hara

Jesko is a Data Technologist and Rob is a Postdoctoral Researcher, both work in the Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis Department at Teagasc.


Why do leaves change colour at this time of year?

It's all down to a bunch of chemicals, a process called senescence and the lifecycle of a tree. Leaf senescence is when the normal green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs take on shades of yellow, orange, red, purple, and brown in the autumn. Read the full article here

By John Casey

John is a Forestry Development Officer with Teagasc. He has a broad technical knowledge of the Irish forest industry. With a specific interest in forestry-related financial analysis and wildfire prevention and controlled burning.


How sustainable is the food we eat in Ireland?

Are you Culturally Sustainable, Nutritionally Sustainable or Unsustainable when it comes to your diet? Is it possible to consume a diet where we can achieve both healthy eating guidelines and have minimal environmental impacts? Find out in the full article here

By Sinéad McCarthy

Sinéad is a Research Officer at Teagasc. She has been involved in many areas of nutrition and consumer research, with a focus on food and health.


Burping and flatulence: methane gas emissions and cows

Research is looking at how to reduce methane emissions from cattle, which accounts for almost 20% of Ireland's total greenhouse gas. Methane lives in the atmosphere for approximately 12 years and is then converted into carbon dioxide. Read the full article here

By Katie Starsmore and Laurence Shalloo

Katie is a Research Technician with VistaMilk and Laurence is a Research Officer at Teagasc.


From kimchi to kombucha, a guide to the world of fermented foods

Many of us use fermented foods as a potential source of live microbes to benefit our health. Food fermentation is a distinct form of food processing where foods are produced through the actions of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Read the full article here

By Liam Walsh, Teagasc

Liam is a PhD researcher located at Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre.


Why are the forests in the Dublin mountains getting a makeover?

The move to continuous cover forestry will have huge benefits for the environment and our health. The essence of continuous cover forestry is that a woodland will maintain a permanent forest cover once established. With a focus on individual trees, the concept of rotation no longer applies. Read the full article here

By Edward Wilson

Edward is a Teagasc Walsh Scholar, he is a silviculturist with interests in tree biology, silvicultural systems and forest conservation