This post is part of a series written by the interns of WFP. Check back often to see more posts from the intern desk.
At the Table With the World Food Programme
Over 180 years ago, a French lawyer and judge published a novel describing the importance of a relatively unexplored philosophy: Gastronomy. For the first time in history, the culture of food was seen as an academic and even scientific pursuit. He is most remembered for his poignant, witty concern on the importance of food:
“The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed.”
Now a WFP intern, I am most reminded of a related excerpt from this culinary philosopher’s work:
“The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas…”
From this we may know that regardless of political affiliation, gender, ethnicity, societal status or wealth, the whole of the world is united behind the idea that we all must be fed.
So, here at WFP, we have a monumental task in front of us each day. The office is constantly buzzing with an international group of experts in various fields: fundraising, logistics, cartography, and communications, all working toward that common goal of feeding the world’s most vulnerable populations. The WFP staff is committed to ensuring that everyone around the world—whether it is with rice, corn, or soy—receives the essential prerequisite for life: food. In other words, “the pleasure of the table.”
As a student of Gastronomy in Colorno, Italy (www.unisg.it), I am encouraged to explore the complexity of the global food system, the cultural significance of food, and the importance of quality ingredients. These are deeply dynamic issues facing society as a whole—implications of sustainable farming, sourcing locally grown food, and recognizing the importance of small scale farms in a global marketplace.
For many years, WFP has made a strong commitment to the ‘local procurement’ of food from low income farmers in numerous developing countries. This is fundamental as a base of support for local economies, community sustainability, and the ‘destiny’ of the nation in concern. Click here to learn more about how WFP uses ‘local procurement’ to ensure everyone can enjoy the pleasure of the table.
Quotes taken from: Brillat-Savarin, J. The Physiology of Taste. London: Penguin Classics, 1994. Translated by Anne Drayton.
Phillip J.H. Ulbrich is an intern in the Global Logistics Cluster Support Cell, an active member of Slow Food International and enjoys traveling, skateboarding, and, of course, fighting hunger.