Gastronomy is the art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food. But what is EcoGastronomy?
It is a relatively new concept, and it pertains to the consumption of food in an eco-friendly manner. It is debatable since it raises food-related issues like instant vis-à-vis delayed gratification, need vis-à-vis luxury, body vis-à-vis mind, etc.
Ecogastronomy is a way to alternative consumption that emphasizes the significance of the interaction between food and humans. It aims to produce more sustainable and healthier food and, at the same time, to lessen the impact on the environment from the consumption and productive side.
We cannot view food simply by what's on our plate – it begins with agriculture. Today, the very soil on which food is grown has deteriorated. It becomes polluted due to an overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. This causes concerns about food safety.
Besides, food production has an impact on the environment in other ways. Agriculture is one of the larger sources of CO2 emissions, especially when you consider the distances that food gets transported. Not just from the farmer to the processed food manufacturer but also the retail chains within the area and international shores.
People no longer view food as something just to consume but as a lifestyle statement. It is amply demonstrated in the profusion of cookery channels, blogs, videos on the net, etc., as also the plethora of international foods that are sold at supermarkets today. In fact, food plays an integral part in tourism too.
It's where EcoGastronomy comes into play and acts as a whistle-blower. It makes people more aware and conscious about the food they consume. EcoGastronomy emphasizes human consumption of food and its consequences.
It seeks to put healthier and sustainable food on the table that will have a lesser impact on the environment in both production and consumption aspects. It concedes that the impact of food produced and consumed may be later than immediate and perhaps in a place far away from us.
EcoGastronomy also acknowledges that food production begins with material elements and moves to communication and interactive activity. Such interaction is bound to leave environmental and social impressions.
So EcoGastronomy embraces everything related to food. It showcases the relation between food and humans and human accountability towards health and food production as farmers/agriculturists, cooks, artists, activists, politicians, and industrialists.
Does all this sound interesting to you? Do you want to grow food, learn to cook it, and eat healthily? Do you want to learn about your food community's complex and holistic nature? And would you like to pursue eco-gastronomy as a career option?
A career in EcoGastronomy can be a challenging and yet satisfying one.
After graduating, depending on the primary major, n eco-gastronomy graduate can:
- Manage a farm or nursery
- Work in the catering or restaurant industry
- Teach in the food-related programs
- Pursue food journalism
- Wholesale and retail marketing
Graduates will equip to assist governments and businesses in developing eco-friendly food practices.
Dual Major in Ecogastronomy
The EcoGastronomy undergraduate and significant program offered by the University of New Hampshire, USA, is the first of its kind. It provides a Dual Major in Ecogastronomy. The program includes a study of sustainable agriculture, hospitality management, and nutrition.
The three principles of the program are interdisciplinary, international, and experiential knowledge. While a wide range of scholarships is available, applicants must apply only for those scholarships they are eligible for.