During the ILP I took part in September 2011 I met great people, had great experiences and great conversations from the first day I arrived in St. Braviels.
There was just one thing that wasn't as great as the rest during the first days: our lunch! The hostel staff did a wonderful job preparing breakfast and dinner for us, but after 2 days all the participants (especially the Italians) were complaining about the lunch sandwich. That is why we decided to prepare our own lunch and together with the WYSE volunteers, we prepared excellent food for our lunch everyday. We talked a lot about differences and similarities in food culture in our countries and we shared recipes.
Food really connected us. Actually it connects all people around the world and it is related to a lot of global issues: fundamental rights, social issues (work, fair wages), environment, fair distribution of resources, health, education, culture, history, etc.
In fact, the first UN Millennium Development Goal is "Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger".
Achieving this goal will only be possible with a better distribution of resources and a smarter use of food. A smart approach to food also means promoting quality of food and its link to local culture, reducing the impact that its production has on the environment and demanding accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions for small producers. This is why, after the program, I decided to join an important international association created in Italy called Slow Food . Its vision is "a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet."
Therefore it is fundamental to reconnect people with where their food comes from and how it is produced so they can understand the implications of the choices they make about the food they put on their plates. I am convinced that in order to do something good one of the most important things is to have fun and enjoy doing it, and to eat well is a pleasure that can really make a difference in the world.