St Mary’s Students Join the Local Food Movement

Department of Home Sciences, St Mary's Shillong

Department of Home Sciences, St Mary’s Shillong

Believing that youths are the decision makers of tomorrow – the ones who can make a difference to food system through conscious choices and the section of the society “vulnerable to cultural changes”, as Rahul Antao, Consultant to

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NESFAS, points out, NESFAS continues to work at involving young adults in its endeavours. NESFAS is working at strengthening the “Local Food Movement”, through Youth Food Clubs with educational institutions all over Meghalaya in an effort to give local food a fighting chance when, presently, consumption of fast foods is rapidly becoming a fad.

On the 17th of September 2014, NESFAS was invited by the department of Home Sciences, St Mary’s College, Shillong, to conduct an awareness programme on Slow Food and managing Youth Food Clubs. The programme was positively received by the attendees carrying a strength

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of nearly 60 interested students, headed by the faculty of the department, Mrs. Nirupama James.

The session, which was interactive in nature, gave NESFAS valuable insights into what the potential food club members present had to offer. Countless ideas were shared that day included the setting up of a kitchen garden in the college itself for planting local crops. The students also showed interest in awareness creation on local food through festivals and knowledge sharing systems.

“There is a sound reason why local foods are not desirable by the youths today,” says Alvaginia, a student of the Home Sciences department on why local foods are not popular. It was pointed out by the students that the lack of diversity on a plate and the limited food choices could put off even the most interested local food enthusiast. “The other reason could be the unreasonably high price tags attached to local dishes at most stalls in the city”, she added. They all felt that local food needs some sort of a makeover without changing its integral qualities.
It can’t be denied that cooking has become way cooler than it was just a mere 10 years ago – proof is in the exponential increase in the number of cooking shows that people avidly watch today and the acceptation of chefs as celebrities, armature food photography, which has become a rage thanks to the advent of technology, and of course exposure to world food and availability of cooking ingredients from around the world. It, thus, could be just the right time to promote the ideology that “cooking local is cool”. NESFAS hopes that Youth Food Clubs will soon become a modern day movement that will change how the coming generations choose what they eat.

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