The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Welcome to the start of the Slow Food On My Platechallenge! Let’s jump right in.

What is GOOD food and why does it matter?
Is a yummy pizza topped with tomatoes picked by underpaid farm workers good? Is a cup of 100% organic coffee that tastes 100% burnt good? Does a food considered good in one culture, need to be good in all cultures? These are complicated questions that point to how complex our understanding of “good” is.

When it comes to GOOD food, we most likely think of flavour first, which is influenced by lots of things such as how it was grown, its appearance, texture (crunchiness, smoothness, etc.), aroma, our taste buds and even things like memories associated with our consumption and the environment that we consume it in. 

As you might have guessed by now, though, GOOD food is more than just macronutrients and flavours. GOOD food is something that nourishes our emotional wellbeing and connects us to our identity, our community and Mother Earth. 

Slow Food believes that every single person should have the right to food that is good for themselves, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet. According to Slow Food’s founder, Carlo Petrini, GOOD food is

  “… much more than a simple product to be consumed: it is happiness, identity, culture, conviviality, nourishment, local economy and survival.”

So, in a nutshell, GOOD food means: 

  • Ensuring delicious nutrition as a right for everyone
  • Cultivating joyful connections to the community and to local culture
  • Advocating for diversity in ecosystems and societies

In this brief video, you’ll hear our global Slow Food network talk about different aspects of GOOD food and how it brings taste, local culture and social change together, in how we experience what we produce and consume.

Hungry for more? Here are our suggestions for what to WATCH, READ and LISTEN for Week 1 of Slow Food’s On My Plate challenge. Take a bite!

MENU OF THE WEEK

WATCH
Kick back with a homemade meal and enjoy these selections that talk about the passion, innovation, cultural traditions and pleasure that Good food provides:

  • Chef’s Table – a documentary series with each episode featuring a passionate, in-depth look into the life and work of a single, groundbreaking chef. Where to start? Season 6 has great episodes with Mashama Bailey of the Grey in Savannah, Georgia and Calcutta-born, London-based Asma Khan, and Season 2 features a great episode with Enrique Olvera of Mexico.
  • Flavorful Origins – a Mandarin-language television documentary series with English subtitles, featuring short (10-13 minute) episodes exploring from farm to table, Chinese regional dishes from Chaoshan, Yunnan, and Gansu.
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi – a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling the life of one of the world’s best sushi chefs, 85-year-old Jiro Ono, owner of Tokyo’s Sukiyabashi Jiro, a modest looking but highly-regarded 10-seat sushi restaurant.
  • Ratatouille – a heartwarming Pixar animated film, that features a rat named Remy who dreams of being a chef in Paris, despite his family’s wishes and society’s dislike of rodents. When he finds himself in the sewers beneath the restaurant of his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau, he makes a bold move to make his culinary dreams come true.

Learn something new:

  • Bugs – Copenhagen-based Nordic Food Lab travels to communities in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and elsewhere to forage, farm, cook and taste insects.
  • Slow Food – Preserve Biodiversity, Preserve the Planet a short video explaining what biodiversity is, what it has to do with our daily food, and what we can do to preserve it.
  • Sneaky Strawberries – Did you know that aroma has a big part in influencing flavor? Find out more in this 3 minute BBC video clip.
  • Travel to the Philippines and Colombia to learn more about traditional dishes from the global Slow Food Terra Madre family.

READ
Click here to read how chefs and researchers from Iceland, Egypt and Colombia are committed to GOOD food. We will also share these stories on Wednesday, January 20, on our social media accounts. Ready to get a jumpstart on Week 2 of the challenge “Act?” Make a change in your eating habits by implementing these 10 Quick Food Rules!

LISTEN
We’ve created three podcasts specifically for you. Starting this week, we’ll launch episode 1 “On My Plate Challenge: Good Food”, which you can find now on Spotify, iTunes, Google, online and all your favorite podcast apps. And, as always, we will give you a loving reminder via Instagram!

ENJOY
Liked all the content above and want more? Learn how to make “democratic focaccia”, a recipe that everyone can make at home with a little bit of effort, even if you’re no expert in the kitchen.

WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE AND HEAR FROM YOU

Great job! This first menu has been filled with new information and tools with which you can start making changes to be more thoughtful of the food you consume. We can’t wait to see and hear from you, so share your thoughts, questions and reflections via Instagram and tag @slowfoodyouthnetwork, @slowfood_international and #SlowFoodOnMyPlate when you do! 

Let us know if you have any questions and till next week!