Thursday, Aug 11, 2022
Outlook.com

Dinnerology

It's the revenge of the anti-Big Macs. The Slow Food movement will save your palate, and may just save your soul.

Dinnerology Dinnerology

Grow your own, eat your own

In which the gastronome forges a brave new world

  • Founded in Italy in 1986, Slow Food has 86,000 members with offices in Italy, Switzerland, the US, Germany, France, Japan and Britain. The movement now has supporters in 130 countries.
  • A University of Gastronomic Sciences was set up in Italy in 2004, with a three-year degree course and also a one-year post-graduation course. Its aim: create the gastronome who can work with food production, distribution and promotion of Slow Food.
  • Slow Food has trained about 9,000 schoolteachers since 1998. A textbook has been produced for schoolchildren: In What Sense. Founder Carlo Petrini wrote Slow Food Nation to promote the cause.
  • Slow Food USA has launched a School Gardens project where children grow their own food, and learn to cook and eat it. Thirty such gardens have come up in two years, about 100 such gardens are coming up in Italy.
  • The Slow Food Master of Food course covers 23 subjects over 90 lessons. Last year, 9,500 people attended the 400 courses offered in Italy through the year.
  • Slow Food is being introduced into hotel management courses. Over the past five years, 1,500 hotel management students have taken these courses, mostly in Italy.
  • In 2006, a new project was launched called Mercati della Terra, meaning 'markets tied to the land'. The idea is to build a system of national farmers' markets. New projects have been launched in Lebanon and Mali.
  • Slow Food is being introduced this year on a large scale in school and college canteens across Italy.
  • It's also in hospitals under the Charter of the Right to Pleasure, Conviviality and Food Quality for the Ill. The aim is to turn meal times into a time of healing, as also rehabilitation, enrichment and enjoyment.

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In one of the more domestic manifestations of globalisation invited in by liberalisation, middle-class India has seen an alarming spread in the population of young dolts who think a burger is cool and a biriyani elderly. Which should mean that it's the young who need most to pull back from this free fall into fast food—if they can be convinced they should. Out to do that convincing is the Slow Food movement whose leaders stepped into India a couple of weeks ago after launching their movement in Rome in 1986.
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