Assignment 2. Natural or Slow: That is the Question
Allow me to adapt a Shakespearian line in this last assignment, devoted to the study of the relationship between food that is marketed as ‘natural’ and the Slow Food Movement.
If you recall the slogan of Slow Food, “Good, Clean, and Fair,” you might remember that the flavour of food and its origin are key aspects of the kind of culinary practices that are invoked by Carlo Petrini. In North America, when we want to turn to healthy food, we tend to gravitate towards food labelled as natural. But is ‘natural’ an unproblematic category? Like ‘authentic’, ‘natural’ is a buzzword that moves millions of dollars. Is ‘natural’ also “Good, Clean and Fair”?
This time, you can widen your range of shopping locations to look for food that is labelled as natural to test it for goodness, cleanliness, and fairness. Pick three kinds of food (no wine or spirits) and determine whether they fit the Slow Food guidelines. Remember, this is not a quest for Slow Food, but rather a way of deepening your knowledge of the way food is presented as healthy and natural.
One of the issues to consider would be taste. I’m reminded of the time when my son used to tell me that he avoids cereal labelled as ‘natural’ like the plague due to their bland if not awful flavour. Can ‘natural’ food taste good, or does the conventional food industry have an unfair advantage when it comes to creating pleasing, addictive food? Is food packaged as natural also good for you and for the environment? Is it fair trade? Is it ethically produced? There are many questions you can ask your food. Have fun with this final assignment. Write a total of maximum 900 words, minimum 700. In this case, make sure you have an introduction and a conclusion.
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