I’m Kirstyn, a masters student in Food Design, living in Brussels. I’m originally from Dublin, where I worked as a graphic designer here.

While studying design in NCAD, I spent a semester in Geneva where I discovered a passion for cooking and for trying new foods. Food was verrry expensive to buy out in Switzerland, so we made everything from scratch! Food became a more and more important passion in my life, until I gave up my job as a graphic designer in September to move to Brussels and study Food Design.

You can get in touch with me via kirstynbyrne@gmail.com

I’m also on Instagram as: thefooddesigner

My Philosophy

My diet is largely plant-based but not entirely vegan. I occasionally eat fish and products containing egg and dairy. The only thing I no longer eat is meat, which I gave up a year ago. When I shop for food and cook at home, it’s vegan for the most part. When I’m eating out however, I make exceptions. I’ve been moving away from an animal-rich diet for three years, so my diet has shifted gradually towards being plant-based. I took care to do research before cutting foods out and supplement missing nutrients (B12 primarily).

Although I don’t eat exclusively vegan, I have a lot of respect for the movement. I think vegan food is the future because it’s sustainable and it’s healthy. I also believe that the way to encourage others to try vegan food is to show them that it tastes nice and it makes you feel good. My body and my conscience feel healthy eating a plant-based diet.

Surely it’s more important and effective to show people the positives of a plant-based diet than it is to guilt trip them with shocking videos of animal suffering?

That’s my philosophy; to encourage people to eat plants for the benefits, rather than to discourage them from eating animal products with shock tactics. I love to bake treats without animal products, and often people who taste what I make are surprised when I tell them it’s vegan.

Of course it takes a degree of effort to be vegan because animal-based foods are a societal norm. I never loved the taste of meat the way other people seem to and I’d been eating less meat for years before I gave it up completely. The best way for me to explain why I eat mostly vegan is because I know too much about the food industry. I’m not here to lecture others about what choices they should make. I just eat what I like to eat and hope to inspire people around me to try eating more plant foods!

I respect the choices of others when it comes to food and I expect them to respect mine. I don’t ask people why they eat X, Y, Z. I simply accept it. ‘Live and let live.’ Let’s be tolerant!