C of I students studying “Slow Food” in Italy
Most college students are familiar with fast food. Far fewer know of “slow food,” but a dozen students at The College of Idaho are immersing themselves in the topic through the environmental studies special topics class “Slow Food in Italy.”
The class, led by C of I professors Jim Angresano, Rochelle Johnson and Don Mansfield, will study the slow food movement first-hand this spring, traveling to northern Italy March 21 to spend ten days learning about the impact local, healthy, high-quality food can have on communities.
“The slow food movement started in Italy,” Angresano said. “And it’s not just about eating slowly; it’s an entire way of life and an ideology about building a community through healthy, local food and a focus on quality rather than quantity.”
The C of I group is visiting five cities in the ten days, including Trento and Bolzano, where the students will experience slow food by visiting farmer’s markets, touring farms and, of course, sampling a variety of local Italian foods. Other stops include Verona, Venice and Munich, Germany.
While the topic of slow food is relatively new to most of the C of I group, it is of special interest to Katy Stewart. The senior from Coeur d’Alene has worked to increase environmental awareness during her four years on campus, and she traveled to Italy last summer while working on her anthropology and sociology senior thesis honors project “Food ideology, sense of place, and regulations: A cross-cultural comparison of American and Italian Cheese Making.”
This spring, Stewart is presenting her thesis paper at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, taking place April 11-13 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. NCUR is the nation’s largest conference dedicated to showcasing undergraduate research. She’s also sharing her paper April 27 at the C of I Student Research Conference inside the Langroise Center. To learn more about the project, check out Stewart’s blog at www.untilweeatagaintrip.wordpress.com.
Angresano is hopeful that the group’s experience in Italy – and the continuing education on campus and beyond by the C of I faculty and students like Stewart – will help students change their eating habits.
For more information on the program as well as live video and photo coverage, visit http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/italy.
(photo courtesy: www.collegeofidaho.edu/italy)