fast food - the standard · e06 food e07 fast monday, november 20, 2006 hong kong today fast food...
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Monday, November 20, 2006
Hong Kong Today
We live in fast food culture, but conveniencecomes at a price, writes JJaanneett WWoonngg
Translated by Anvil Ong
Fast food culture1) What is the characteristic of fast food culture?
Why do we say it represents the culture of mod-ern society? Do you agree?
2) What is wrong with fast food culture? Why arepeople fighting it with slow food?
Slow food3) What is slow food? What are its benefits? Why
is it called an attitude? Can you explain withexamples?
4) Someone said that we slow down not to fightthe fast, but we slow down to be fast. Can yougive examples?
Class discussion5) Fast food culture often goes against environ-
mental concerns. Why? If you were a fast foodrestaurant owner, how would you respond?
6) How much time do you spend eating? Do youthink what you eat, how you eat and your atti-tude towards eating are equally important?Why?
7) Which do you think Hong Kong people willchoose in future: fast food or slow food? Createa comparison table for the two and discuss.
I think slow food...A) is worth promoting. It is a healthy way of
living.B) should be promoted to offset the fast food
culture.C) does not fit into modern life.D) is only for the rich.
GGOOUURRMMEETT CCrraaiigg AAuu YYeeuunngg: “Being slow does notmean rejecting the fast. We slow down to be fast.We slowly and clearly see what we need. Then wecan make a fast decision.”
CChhaaiirrmmaann ooff SSllooww FFoooodd OOrrggaanniissaattiioonn ((SSiinnggaa--ppoorree)): “Eat to live (要為生而食) or live to eat (為食而
生)? That’s a personal choice. But don’tforget ‘You are what you eat’ (你吃甚
麼，你就是甚麼). Next time don’tdevour (大口吞) food. And
don’t have PC or TVmeals.”
SSllooww FFoooodd OOrrggaannii--ssaattiioonn ((TTaaiiwwaann)): “We
are not eating deli-cacies from landand sea, we aretasting them.”
RRTTHHKK ffooooddaanndd ccuullttuurreepp rr oo gg rr aa mm mm ee :“Actually thereare 80,000agricul turalproducts thatcan be used forfood. To date,only about 150kinds have been
grown. Four ofthem account for
85 percent of theworld’s food con-
sumption. Under thefast food influence, no
one cares about asking
for variety in food.” NNeettiizzeenn CCaatt: “Slow food is an attitude – a belief
that everyone has the right to enjoy food and thenatural rhythm of life. It is just that people todayhave gone astray, giving birth to the tasteless andharmful fast food and overly fast-paced living.”
GGrreeeenn PPrroodduuccee FFoouunnddaattiioonn ddiirreeccttoorr HHoo LLeeuunngg--mmaauu (綠田園基金理事何良懋): “Over the decade, slowfood has stressed slowly enjoying food in a peacefuland comfortable environment. The followersbelieve that it helps digestion and the additionalchewing helps lower carcinogenic (致癌) and toxic(毒性) substances in food. The more you chew themore protection against cancer. Experts say one hasto chew every mouthful of food at least 20 timesbefore swallowing it. A meal must last at least 45minutes to be healthy.”
MMrr YYuuee ooff tthhee ffiinnaanncciiaall sseeccttoorr: “Fast food isfaster. It is a symbol of social development. Spend-ing one hour enjoying lunch is a bit too much. HongKong people are always competing. They eat to stophunger and that’s all they care about. Though slowfood is good, it does not fit into modern life. I thinkonly those people who have a lot of leisure time canafford it.”
NNeettiizzeenn JJuullyy 22000044: “It is not a problem of fast orslow. Like the people who take a lot of food ontotheir dishes at a buffet. They actually may not knowhow the food tastes or what they are eating. Underthe influence of fast food, people will not be particu-lar about food and don't know how to enjoy it.”
SSllooww FFoooodd OOrrggaanniissaattiioonn ((HHoonngg KKoonngg)) ddiirreeccttoorrWWiillssoonn KKwwookk: “We are not controlling our time. Wecan spend 45 minutes on video games and only 15minutes for eating. Slowing down is actually asearch for quality time.”
HONG Kong people are living ata fast pace. To save time, manylunch at fast food restaurants.However, such meals, with
their stereotyped tastes (標準化口味) andenvironmentally unfriendly ways of prepa-ration, have always been criticised.
According to a study last month, thetotal consumption of disposable lunchutensils (即棄餐具) used by the five fast foodrestaurant chains in Hong Kong reached 27million pieces per month, demonstratingthat people ignored the harm the fast foodculture has brought to health, life and theenvironment. In view of this, there arepeople around the world promoting “slowfood” to offset (抗衡) the problems broughtabout by fast food.
Fast food and slow food are not justabout eating habits. They are an attitudetowards life. Which shall we choose?
News extractsTODAY, more and more people are eatingfast food, resulting in alarming numbers ofdisposable lunch utensils used. Accordingto an estimate by GGrreeeenn SSeennssee (環保觸覺) lastmonth, the five fast food chains used as
many as 27 million pieces of disposablessuch as plastic spoons, forks, etc. duringlunch hours. That means a customer usesabout nine disposables on average and thetotal amount of tray paper used is enoughto cover 28 Government Stadium soccerpitches. Also, the tissue paper used isequivalent to chopping down 65 trees.
For their convenience, fast food shopsuse disposables that are not environmen-tally friendly. This problem is only the tipof the iceberg. As early as 1986, Italianscholar and gourmet Carlo Petrini (意大利學者及食家卡洛•佩特里尼) felt the opening ofMcDonald’s in Italy would impact thecountry’s food culture. He believed the“invasion” of fast food not only harmedhealth but also made people lose their abil-ity to enjoy and respect food. It also endan-gered the diversification of world food andlivestock.
In view of environmental friendlinessand fairness, he started the Slow FoodMovement to promote the joys of tastingfood, feasting and wine-tasting. He wasagainst stereotyping food and advocated(提倡) the rights of consumers to be keptinformed. He asked for conservation of the
uniqueness of food heritage, traditionalfood cultures, traditional means of growingcrops and food treatment. He also wantedto protect the breeding of livestock andcrop strains.
The advantage of fast food is its conven-ience which suits the pace of modern life.Hence, the fast food culture actually repre-sents the race for efficiency in the modernworld. However, putting too much stresson convenience can bring adverse effects.It is laying stress on packaging instead ofcontent. It in a way stresses benefits at thecost of moral values (道德觀).
Meanwhile, the Slow Food International(國際慢食協會) established in 1989 in Parisread out their slow food declaration (慢食宣言): The fast pace of city life is affecting lifeand environment in the name of produc-tivity. We shall fight back with slow food.
Slow food can be rephrased as slow eat-ing or slow tasting. Slow eating is not justin the slowness when eating. At the sametime, it is a kind of search for lifestyle andquality. Starting from how to respect andenjoy food, we learn how to be friendly tothe environment, respect life and theunique heritage and culture of food. Slow
eating is not only for the rich. Slow food isenjoying simple and good food that growson the ground. What we eat, how we eatand the attitude of eating are equallyimportant.
The Slow Food Movementand DeclarationON 9 November 1989, representativesfrom Argentina (阿根廷), Austria (奧地利),Brazil (巴西), Denmark (丹麥), France (法國),Germany (德國), Holland (荷蘭), Hungary(匈牙利), Italy (意大利), Japan (日本), Spain(西班牙), Sweden (瑞典), Switzerland (瑞士),USA and Venezuela (委內瑞拉) signed aslow food declaration in Paris. The decla-ration stated the bad effects of fast foodon society and the environment. It wasagainst fast-paced living and eating. Itwanted to internationalise the slow foodmovement to wake people up to the culi-nary skills and tastes around the world. Italso wanted people to enjoy food and pro-tect the environment while ensuring sus-tainability of resources.
(Source: Produce Green 綠田園)
Think about it