Your Name and Title: Sonia Massari, PhD

School or Organization Name: Gustolab Institute

Co-Presenter Name(s): Salem Paulos

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Italy

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Teachers, Professors

Short Session Description (one line): teaching food studies: it is always more evident that there is a need for a convergence of responsibility on the part of the industrial sector and universities alike.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
In the last 15 years a new Academic Field of Study has emerged, called Food Studies, aimed at training professionals in food history and psychology, science and technology, in science of communication and business management methods, etc. One academic programme, promoted by Food Studies, is aimed at involving the different stakeholders, from researchers to employees in the sector, from producers to consumers; it also aims at promoting the exchange of responsibility and knowledge between industry and universities, between local and global governance, at identifying strategies and means by which to exalt the mankind’s profoundest values, that is to evaluate available resources, feed people, interact with others and exalt the cultural identity associated with food.
In reality, Food Studies have a long history and background. What we currently called ‘ Food Studies’ have grown quickly into a discipline and today do not limit themselves to investigating the historical and sociological aspects of food but also the sphere of production, distribution, consumption and communication of food; in particular, the object of Food Studies has shifted its focus towards the problems of agriculture and new methods of stocking, analysing and finding new production and sustainable distribution methods, as well as dwelling on communications systems capable of supporting education and training in the field of food.
New structures and models of innovation-education -development are necessary for a competitive growth that is locally sustainable. The education and training of students in food issues is obviously a challenge which must be taken up not only by the universities. The best wish that can be expressed for the future is that the broadest possible audience should benefit from the results obtained from this type of study and that the outcome of research at university level be enjoyed by ever increasing numbers.
Methods of learning which defines sustainability not only as a topic to study, but rather as the measures used in everyday life and routine.
Theoretical sessions, combined with extra-curricular activities, based on experiential education, allow Food Studies students to come to very interesting conclusions in a short academic period of time (1 to 4 months maximum). It is not so much in terms of changing eating habits and products purchased, but above all in the acquisition of critical analysis tools and problem solving skills that can be then used by students upon reentering into their home country. Consequently, the growing ability of a student's capacity to select the quality of products and nutritional solutions presented in Italy, while independently acquiring material and information to then use for understanding the “ Italian Food and its territory”, has been significantly interesting within the last 5 years.

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