On Sunday 24th May 2015 Edinburgh’s Royal Mile played host to an unusual addition to the regular offering of tours and street performers this Sunday as we (SFYN Scotland) organised a colourful pop-up, public dining experience called an “Eat-In” which sprung up under the imposing bulk of St Giles cathedral, and marked our launch.
Volunteers involved in SFYNS met on the Royal Mile just after noon to set up chairs and tables and by 1pm we were sitting down to enjoy home-cooked food, all with a personal story attached. Intrigued passers-by were invited to join us at the table, take time over a plate of food, and talk about why food is meaningful to them. A family from the Faroë Islands explained to the table that many people on the islands still know how to turn every last bit of the sheep they raise into food, although food imports are rising and skills are being lost. A couple from Detroit proudly reported that 30 acre urban farms are thriving right in the centre of their city. A woman establishing community gardens in Glasgow concluded that these kinds of convivial feasts are the way forward for her community; “Out with soup kitchens!”. Then, at 3pm, the leftovers were packed up in tupperware, the crumbs shaken off the tablecloth, tables and chairs neatly folded up – all as if nothing had happened. But hopefully it was the very beginning of a ‘good, clean, fair’ food revolution for Scotland’s youth.
Through the Slow Food Youth Network Scotland we hope to provide a platform for young people across the nation to cultivate dialogue and create action around food issues. We’re a growing group of young people who believe 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.
We will be organising more events in Scotland in the near future with an Eat-In in Glasgow already in the pipeline.