“There is always light if we are brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.”
Amanda Gorman, youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history

Every change begins with learning more about the issue and then figuring out ways that it can be improved. Issues don’t solve themselves. That’s why we need to act. Together. 

Below you will find the Menu of the Week with three GOOD food actions that you can take, starting today. One action will help you share the knowledge that you’ve gained in the past week; one act inviting you to try something new in your personal life; and the third is a powerful act that might actually be the start of your career as a (perhaps rebellious) public changemaker 😉

Of course, we hope that you want to do all 3 actions and share your experiences with the world on your social media, but if, for any reason, you can’t do some of the acts that’s totally fine. We all have busy lives as well as our ups and downs; just remember to stay committed and make small actions, every day! 

And remember… you are not doing this challenge alone!

MENU OF THE WEEK

CONVERSATIONS #SlowFoodOnMyPlate

Start a conversation: You’ve just had a week of learning and are building knowledge that you can act on and share with others! The challenge is of course not to lecture people, but to encourage an open-minded, kind and energetic exchange of ideas. 

Possible questions to have a conversation about the theme of this week:

  • What does good food mean to you? 
  • How do you prepare your food so that it tastes good?
  • What did good food look like for your parents (or grandparents) when they were your age?

Another natural way to start conversations around GOOD food is to say things like, “Oh, I saw this documentary last week and I found this interesting! What do you think?” or “Oh, I read an interview with a chef from Colombia…Have you ever heard of that dish or ingredient?” Make it a fun talk, not a judgemental one

ADVENTURE #SlowFoodOnMyPlate

And now it’s time to go out to explore and discover. We have different ideas for you that you can try out. Here they are:

Go back in time…

Remember that homemade dish that had you so happy as a kid and still makes you drool now? Is it a family recipe or from a friend? Write down what makes it special! Was it the flavor? If so, describe it. Does it invoke warm feelings of the person who cooked it for you or a specific time in your life? Is it significant to your family or culture? Why? Have you ever tried cooking this recipe? If yes, congrats we’d love it if you could do that again and share some of that goodness (i.e. show us your recipes!) on your social media. If you’ve never cooked it, now is a good time to try and maybe get some tips and learn more about the history of the dish from the person who gave you the recipe! … and get cooking!

Try making this recipe, but whatever happens… don’t be bummed out if it turns out not quite as you expected! Cooking is all about trying, failing and trying again 🙂 And don’t forget the lessons about food that you learned from chef Remy the rat last week in the film Ratatouille.

What did you think of making this recipe? And what emotions or memories came up while eating it? Share with us on your stories, tagging @slowfoodyouthnetwork and @slowfood_international!

NOW, ARE YOU READY TO BECOME A FOOD TASTING PRO?

Try two different VERSIONS of the same product (called side-by-side tasting).

First, purchase the same product in both its industrial version (the one you can find in any supermarket) and the artisanal one (made by local, small scale producers or farmers markets). This could be cheese, vegetables, bread, wine, a particular kind of cured meat… anything you can find depending on where you are!

Ask yourself some questions during the tasting, such as: 

  • Why do you like one more than the other? And how does each one make you feel? (try to be as specific)
  • How was each product made? What are the ingredients and expiration date? Is there a difference between the two versions?
  • How close to where you live was each product produced?

How do the answers to all of these questions affect your overall impression of the product?

Try two different VARIETIES of the same ingredient (called variety tasting).

If possible, go to your local grocery store or farmers market and buy multiple varieties of the same fruit or vegetable, such as apples or anything else that you can find locally. Try Googling the name of each variety to see what characteristics define them and what they are best used for. 

Do a side-by-side tasting of each, writing down your observations. Take more than one bite as taste buds usually need a minute to get used to what is being presented!

Spoiler alert: Your taste buds have gotten used to a very narrow range of industrially crafted flavours. Something might not taste good simply because you never had that specific flavour or texture. You can train your taste buds to like new things and expand your palette. There is a world of beautiful, diverse flavours just waiting to be discovered by you! 

POWER #SlowFoodOnMyPlate

Want to feel empowered by food? Grow your own and take the first step in rebelling against the global industrial food system! Whether it is in your garden, a small bucket on your balcony or a little pot in your window, producing your own food is easy to do. The seeds or plants that you place in the dirt represent the start of you becoming an activist. You will grow and develop, and hopefully help other people do that as well! Please share your journey with us in researching what to do, finding seeds (perhaps from food scraps), planting and taking care of them! Here are some very practical tips on how to get started. If you’re in the US, you could join the Plant a Seed Campaign!

Lastly, a more public-facing thing you can do is to sign a petition for GOOD food in schools! Since we are more than 120 nationalities, it is hard to find a common petition. So if you find one, DM us about it, so we can share it on our Instagram!

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

With 120 nationalities, there is a lot to learn! That’s why we invited two ambassadors to do an Instagram Live on Tuesday at 2pm (CET) and Thursday at 4pm (CET), they will be doing a live cooking session with the recipe that they cherish! You wanna join? Make sure you check out Slow Food Youth Netowork’s stories on Monday and Wednesday to find out the ingredients you need! 

For our Slow Food challenge we’d like to invite you to our Happyritivo (‘cause we’re happy) on Saturday the 30th of January at 16:00 CET! We will give a short talk, after which we will break out into different rooms. We have a room with some people from the podcast and the interviews, multiple chatting rooms in Spanish, Italian and English, and a fun but challenging pub quiz room! We will have room for 500 people, so make sure to sign up this Wednesday via the link in our IG bio and in our stories!

SO, WHAT’S ONE SMALL ACTION THAT YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW? 

  • Start a conversation around GOOD food with some friends and/or family
  • Write down the recipe for one of your favourite childhood dishes
  • Pick one or more products and start taste testing
  • Find 1 petition in your country you can sign and share
  • Add a reminder to your calendar for our global Happyritivo call 🙂

Let’s get acting, everyone!