Extra Credit:David Szanto by Julie Dinh

On Friday the 27th, I took time to go see the presentation by Davis Szanto. His presentation was on the Slow Food Organization that was created in Northern Italy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. As a graduate of the university, Szanto volunteered to represent his school to introduce the Slow Food organization.

Before introducing the Slow Food Organization, Szanto asked the audience was gastronomy was. As a social science major, I knew nothing about the term. All I knew was that it had the word “gas” in the main word so I assumed it had something to do with releasing gas or may even indigestion. In some ways I was close to the definition but he broke up the words so we could understand the process a lot better. He broke up the word for us to understand it as “gaster” means stomach and “nomia” means law.

He then explained to us the purpose of the Slow Food Organization. This organization was created to oppose the ideas of fast food chains. The idea of this organization was to eliminate fast foods and incorporate real food into our everyday lives. He insists real food is food we are able to enjoy and taste the true essence of it allowing us to benefit from the different cultures that food introduces us to.

People in today’s society are always on the go and because of this they resort to fast food. As we can see our society is based on the idea of convenience and that is what fast food is. People are so involved with either work or school that they forget the idea of having food that taste good and is healthy. This is a huge problem for the United States because fast food has become a part of our culture, we have a fast food restaurants down every street, or even two different fast food restaurants in the same shopping plaza. We’ve become so invested into cheap, fast, and unhealthy food that we forget the true meaning behind food. We forget to try to foods to open our live and expose us to different cultures. The Slow Food Organization was here to reestablish the idea of good food. Food that we can enjoy instead of greasy burgers or fries that may have been sitting out for ten minutes and we would not even know.

Slow food feels the “responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible.” The idea of food to Slow Food is just not something to fill you up but it is a vital part in our lives because food gives us diversity and the ability to grow in our heritage or traditions. Eating is not just enjoyment but it is a learning process. This really makes me think now when I go to fast foods because it is not just about cheap food or fast food, but it is about enjoying the food you eat and gaining a wonderful experience every time you eat.



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