Toulouse workshop

 Toulouse – Good, clean and fair food faces 3 challenges: youth, urban cities and health

Our aim to develop good, clean and fair food needs to be in harmony with the actual societal challenges and changes. For this mobility and moment of learning together, we decided to tap into three important challenges our food system and society is facing:

1 – Raising awareness among the young, about what food represents.

The standardization of taste and culture of our food system and the unrestrained power of food industry multinationals and industrial agriculture is changing the way youngsters see food. Do they know that food grows? Where and how? Do they know about food biodiversity and the different varieties they can eat of a single product such as an apple? What do they think of organic agriculture, is it sustainable?

Youngsters usually think food the way their parents eat. If their parents are absent or don?t have the necessary knowledge about food, cooking, agriculture then kids become adults that consume and eat in an unconscious way. Whereas, if youngsters have the information, taste of food and develop their critical spirit, their food behaviors will positively be shaped for their entire life.

Activity:

Learners and staff met together to be trained by the IFSF about how to create and lead a school activity concerning food. We saw what teaching skills concerned different age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9 -12, 12-15, 15-18) and what where their specifics.

Previous to the mobility, IFSF had arranged a partnership with a high school located in Toulouse and 3 classes of teenagers. We met the teachers to propose an activity about food that would be held by the GRUNDTVIG learners coming to Toulouse.

After giving the training to the learners, we spoke about the high school activity and how, with the new tools they had, they would like to organize the activity. What food to talk about? How to approach teenagers? What dynamic?

The day after, we went to the high school and lead the activity as a group for more than 2 hours.

We decided we would first give some information to the whole group about food and then divide the group in small groups to taste different products:

- Fruits

- Vegetables

- Chocolate

- Cheese

- Bread

 

2 ? Bringing good, clean and fair food to the cities

More and more cities are interested in sustainable food and are moving towards local strategies to establish local food systems.  ?The way we eat affects the city we live in. The food we grow, the way we produce and distribute it, the distance it travels and the people and businesses we buy it from all have a profound effect on the place we call home. Food can change the landscape of our city, the strength of our local economy, the health and wellbeing of our population and the opportunities open to our young people.? (Edible Edinburgh)

But how can someone grow and/or sell clean food while living in or near a city? What about land issues?  Prices?  Pollution? What are the opportunities and the obstacles?

Activity:

Visit of Borde Bio. The last ?city organic farm? of Toulouse and informal training with the producers around this topics: organic agriculture, organic agriculture in a city, distribution circuits, obstacles, productivity and opportunities.

 

3 ? The impact of food on our health

We are what we eat. Our industrialized food system may sicken the world, but it is also sickening us. The World Health Organization indicates that our food system, with an excess consumption of transformed, animal products has been the direct cause of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, heart problems, obesity, etc. Unfortunately, a common misconception about healthy food is that it is very expensive. While the truth is, it is mainly a matter of changing our approach to food, quality and diversity.

For example, by coming back to more raw, natural products (plant based) and less transformed, which need a lot of energy products (animal based).

Activity:

A botanical walk, with a guide: introduction to wild and eatable plants in a forest near Toulouse, tasting of plants on the spot, tasting of plant beverages. Tasting of small plant culinary preparations.

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