[FOUNTAIN]Food as part of an ‘ideal’ educationThe ideal education balances knowledge, morality and physical health. But developed countries have recently added the study of gastronomy to the agenda. Gastronomical education focuses on learning about cuisines and food cultures and training people to understand the culinary arts. By developing balanced eating habits, students can develop healthy minds and bodies. One of the biggest parts of gastronomical education is the study of traditional cuisines.
In Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party has included legislation related to gastronomical education on its list of public pledges.
The ruling party hopes to implement an organized system of gastronomical training by creating a council for culinary and dietary education in the government and autonomous local bodies. The party is currently surveying popular opinion and plans to introduce the bill in the fall.
The bill would have three major aims: to preserve traditional Japanese cuisine, promote health, and reinforce the competitiveness of Japan’s food-related industries.
European nations are the frontrunners in gastronomical study. In Italy, the birthplace of the “Slow Food” movement, the University of Gastronomical Science opened in October thanks to the joint effort of the government and civic organizations.
The university is neither a cooking school nor a gourmet club for aristocrats and epicures. It offers a five-year master’s program to nurture gastronomical experts who can appreciate international cuisines. The curriculum includes such unique classes as the geography of wine and the anthropology of food.
The French Ministry of Education plans to set up a high school specializing in “palate training,” to nurture experts with an absolute sense of taste to continue the culinary arts of France.
The efforts begin from the idea that food and culture are one. In order to pass down culinary traditions, the art of food and drink is combined with education.
The Korea Cooks Association held a seminar on traditional cuisine and school lunches on Saturday. The culinary experts sought ways to teach the taste of Korean cuisine to youth who are easily tempted by fast food. The seminar was a valuable effort in the education of gastronomy for the next generation.
by Nahm Yoon-ho
The writer is a deputy city news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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