Slow Food considers education as one of our most vital resources. And we have been working in this realm, over the years in many countries, through many innovative, hands on participative activities, where our knowledge of food is led by our taste.
Because if we are to change our cultural model, from monocultural and centralized to one based on diversity and small-scale production, we must all actively develop education where we can, in our own homes with our families, in public spaces, or by getting involved in our schools and universities, farms, restaurants, companies, etc. Education can and should take many forms and reach anyone, rural or urban, children or grandparents, regardless of economic situation and cultural background.
We are not talking about just any education, but one that reconnects us to the essentials such as what we eat and teaches us how important it is to care for one another, starting with one’s neighbors. One that is carried out to understand the bigger picture and connect it to our hearts and stomachs and allows us to act accordingly.
In his book, Small is beautiful, a study of economics as if people mattered, E.F. Schumacher devotes an entire chapter to education, from which the following extract is taken.
“The task of education would be, first and foremost, the transmission of ideas and value, of what to do with our lives…more education can help us only if it produces more wisdom….but values do not help us pick our way through life unless they have become our own…this means that they are more than mere formulae or dogmatic assertions: that we think and feel with them, that they are the very instruments through which we look at, interpret and experience the world…”