“The role of chefs will be crucial. Take the meat issue: it is not only about choosing better meat, but significantly reducing our consumption. Chefs can lead the way on this, showing us how to reduce the meat in our diets, and make vegetables more delicious: by knowing how to cook, chefs can really make a difference.”
So says Guus Thijssen, the coordinator of Slow Food Chef’s Alliance in the Netherlands. “It’s great to get together and collaborate, like we did during the Chef’s Alliance congress in Montecatini: it is important to inspire each other, to learn, to develop new crafts and ideas so we can cook up a better future.”
“We have been following the principles of Slow Food for a long time and we only use local, seasonal products in our menu. With the Menu For Change campaign we want to offer dishes to our customers that can also serve as good examples,” says Altin Prenga, of the Chefs’ Alliance in Albania. “This is the power that we cooks have: to show people what environmentally-friendly consumption means. We represent a change that must then filter through to peoples’ homes. As a concrete example, we’re building an agricultural train which takes riders on a journey through stables, vineyards and workshops with signs that talk about the practices which harm our food and the environment. With our staff we’re raising funds and talking about the positive effects of responsible consumption.”
Cook Up A Better Future is the second challenge of the Menu For Change campaign, starting from November 6.
Take up the challenge, get active and fight climate change in the kitchen – that means choosing good, clean and fair ingredients, drastically reducing your consumption of meat, and rejecting any meat that has been raised by intensive farming, choosing mackerel, anchovies or sardines instead of cod, tuna or salmon, and saying no to all farmed fish. It means eating more legumes, and of course, seasonal fruit and vegetables that haven’t been shipped across continents.
You can take part in a number of different ways: cooking with products from the Ark of Taste and Slow Food Presidia, getting creative with leftovers and eliminating food waste, cutting out meat, organizing an event or even taking people from your local area to visit farmers and food producers in person, so they can hear the stories of how their meals travel from field to fork.
Small actions, when taken by enough people, give rise to great changes.