#sfrome: Transmitting food culture through art (25)

Written by Marta Millere

Today at 14:00 we were able to catch up with FAO consultant Sandro Dernini who presented his thoughts on art as a possible tool to transmit food culture.

His vision was one of an anthropological nature and he argued that food should not be seen solely as a container of nutrients but also as a means of expressing one’s (human) culture and heritage. We learned that the know-how of the people across the world is a form of biodiversity itself and must be protected, and a way to this could be through art.

Through art we can express our cultural identities but also embrace something that is almost a universal language. It is a communication tool that can be used to revitalize people’s interest on food and to make nutrition and biodiversity appealing and understandable to many, therefore possibly leading to a greater good: one of food and nutrition safety.

In this session we enjoyed hearing that through art peoples’ awareness of existent but most importantly - forgotten foods - can be brought back to “life”. Sandro also told us about successes of the FAO project on school-gardens in which he was involved, and how by growing their own food, schools in Bangladesh, Cuba and Rwanda were able to balance their own diets.

Sandro mentioned the global problem of youth slipping away from their heritage and eating foods that are not part of their culture, foods that are actually bad to them because they are poor in nutrients. The ever existing issue of people thinking that local and “ancient” foods are “food for the poor” and therefore not appealing to those who strive to be modern was also raised.

Sandro also introduced Brazilian artist Glaucia Coelho Demenjour who will be joining Amedeo Modigliani in what the artist herself called an “edible installation” in the light of the World Food week. This event will take place October 24th in FAO.

Photo by: Glaucia Coelho Demenjour