Tours and Parma: where food is valued

7 Jun, 2017

It is only one month left to the beginning of my Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions "CONSUMEHealth.Using consumer science to improve healthy eating habits", in the meanwhile I have just got back from one intensive week of conferences where I had the opportunity of listening and discussing the past and the future of food. 

All these events happened in two beautiful cities: Tours located in the center-west of France and Parma in Italy. Both cities are renowned for being gastronomic centers and they also received the Unesco Creativity city for Gastronomy recognition. For more info visit and Parma is also classified by the Qualivita Foundation as the first Italian city for typical Agri-food products, and in 2004 was appointed as the seat of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

On the 1-2 June, my colleagues from Parma University, Dr.Sara Basilico, Dr. Silvana Chiesa, Dr. Pietro D’Alessio, Dr. Cristina Mora and I presented a special session on “Consumer acceptance of edible insects: from the disgust factor to the new frontier of ento-gastronomy” at the IEHCA Conference on Food History and Food Studies in Tours.


Me, Silvana, Sara and Pietro

The IEHCA Conference on Food History and Food Studies has been the opportunity to meet over two hundred researchers (seventy sessions!!!) from all around the world and to listen to one of the most important anthropologists on food behavior, Mr Claude Fischler. I would like to thank the organizers for their hospitality: Bruno Laurioux, Allen Grieco and Loïc Bienassis. For those of you interested in participating next time, in 2018 the conference will take place on 7-8 June. Monitoring the website for further updates and the official call.

The day after our return from France, I was invited to participate in the Alma Congress at the Auditorium Paganini in Parma where I contributed with many other colleagues from different fields (journalism, Academia, food service, industry etc.) to the “Magna Carta” document for the #Next Generation Chef.

Over the two days of debate and networking, the Congress welcomed more than 100 experts in the food system and twenty representatives of the most important cooking schools from all over the world.

Source: ALMA

From the event, a new conception of the profession of the chef emerged. This figure needs to have both precise technical skills (know how) but also a deep knowledge about food and its traditions and the passion of learning more and more as innovation comes along. In summary: teaching and making the students more aware of sustainability, food waste, animal welfare, healthy diet, novel food, and other critical issues in our complex food system.

Me with other friends debating about novel and traditional food at ALMA Congress

If you are interested in learning more about these events. Simply contact me!


Giovanni Sogari


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