University of Gastronomic Sciences
The University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) boasts a research specialization focused on the multidisciplinarity that characterizes the gastronomic context. Gastronomy is the study of everything related to food, understood as a cultural and scientific value. Gastronomy has to do with all living things, whether plant, animal or human. Gastronomic sciences participate in and promote a complex, systemic and inclusive model of knowledge. This is not structured according to the dualistic paradigm of rigid opposing categories—like body/soul, perceptible/intelligible, praxis/theory—but according to the model of relationships and coevolution, of involvement and parity of value. Gastronomy is not just a nutritional necessity but also desire and pleasure; it simultaneously studies and comprises technical abilities, know-how, invention and the creative imagination. In gastronomic sciences, knowledge is both science and culture at the same time. The methodological approach springs from the university’s founding principles and is therefore based on the issues of sustainable food as a form of sustenance and of improvement of the planet’s human and natural conditions.
With reference to the distinctive nature of its branch of studies and its internationally recognized expertise in the world of gastronomic science and its multi-faceted sphere of influence, UNISG promotes research projects linked to both the academic sector and the sector connected to innovation in businesses and productive and cultural activities. Gastronomic sciences contribute to providing responses and solutions for the establishment of a global ecological model based on favouring differences and biodiversity. Gastronomic sciences propose an epistemic, ethical, economic and political vision in which food is not seen as a pure object of domination by humans. They strive towards the preservation of cultural heritage, connected more generally to the safeguarding of the planet, the freedom of access to food and the knowledge connected to it. In this context, individual liberty and responsibility for the life of other living beings are necessarily interwoven because without the latter, the former is also threatened.
Studying gastronomic sciences means conceiving and practising a new form of life, which combines diversities and cultural specificities with the universal need and desire for good, healthy and fair food for all. Because food concerns all of us and belongs to all of us.
The gastronomist studies in order to understand the processes of food, from production to consumption, from techniques and technologies to symbols and narratives, and is equally interested in what feeds the body and what feeds the soul.
The gastronomist tastes, experimenting and exploring, navigating the open seas of experience and history, using food as a vector of civic awareness and ethical responsibility. Along with the theoretical study, participatory observation and first-hand experiences are at the centre of their education. Through direct experience, the gastronomist learns the respect, care and humility that are indispensable to fully understand the importance of the value of food as one of the original community-forming links between all living beings.
Tasks in NextFood
WP1 Inventory of the skills needed for a transition to more sustainable agriculture, forestry and associated bio-value chains.
WP2 Action research facilitation
WP3 Future curriculum, education and training system