Food is important. It’s what we gather around on special occasions; it nourishes us and helps us grow; it tells us where we are and what season it is; it shapes and expresses our identity. It can be tasty, revolting, controversial or downright bizarre, but the bottom line is that there isn’t a single person on the planet who doesn’t need it.
It’s easy to forget this though, when our lives are full of so many attractive distractions and pressures. Taking time to cook and eat easily becomes the lowest priority when we’re dealing with deadlines and busy schedules, when there are bills to pay, or when we’re tired. And thinking about food beyond the plate – how food production impacts environment, how the people who produce, process, transport and sell are being treated, how it effects our minds and bodies – is perhaps preferable to ignore when we’re just trying to get ourselves fed.
But in truth, food is worth thinking about, and worth taking time over – for the sake of planet, community, health and even our own happiness. Because the other important thing about food is that it gives us pleasure. From a crisp apple, to a dish that took hours to prepare, good food makes us feel happier, forms memories, and brings us closer together.
We need to find a way to have time in our lives to think about, create, eat, share and celebrate food.
We are Slow Food Youth Network Scotland, a growing group of young people in Scotland who think everyone has the right to Good, Clean, Fair food. We’re a diverse bunch, with young farmers, entrepreneurs, food justice advocates and concerned eaters, all coming together to do what we can to communicate the importance of food.
On Sunday 24th May, we’ll be holding our first Eat In. Never heard of such a thing? Well, an Eat In is like a pop-up, public dining experience, a statement about the importance of eating together and taking time for food, and a good bit of delicious fun, too. We’ll be setting up tables and chairs outside St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile from 1pm, and we invite you to come join us. We’re bringing dishes to share that tell a story about why food is important to us, and we want to hear your stories.
Beyond the eat-in, SFYN Scotland will connect young people across Scotland and internationally, to raise awareness cultivate dialogue and create action around food issues.
So, why not join in? Bring a knife and fork and perhaps bring something to share. Come and tell us why food is important to you, enjoy some good chat, and try some new flavors.
We’ll hope to see you there!
What else are we going to do?
In other countries, the SFYN has been using public, inclusive and visually engaging events to speak out on food issues. These include Disco Soups (click link to learn about culinary disobedience :), Film Festivals, public lectures, educational workshops, Drink-Ins, art exhibitions & installations, food growing projects … and anything else that can be imagined! SFYN Scotland will be what we make of it. If you care about food, get involved.