Host mom with food from market - Sidra Kennedy

Connettersi attraverso il cibo

Il cibo unisce le persone tra di loro. Studiando a Tecpan in Guatemala, ho scoperto l’enfasi che viene data al cibo fatto in casa e ai mercati locali, cosa che non ho mai notato negli Stati Uniti.
United States, Northern America

Story by Sidra Kennedy. Translated by Sati Nunziati
Published on October 22, 2020.

This story is also available in GB de es kr tr



La madre della famiglia guatemalteca che mi ospitava stava formando delle palline con un impasto di farina di granoturco per fare le tortillas[1]. La guardavo ammirata mentre rigiravo il platano che friggeva in padella. Stavamo preparando la colazione insieme il giorno dopo esserci incontrate per la prima volta e non eravamo ancora riuscite ad avere una conversazione in cui ci capivamo a vicenda; ha dovuto mostrarmi come rigirare il platano nella padella in modo tale che comprendessi quello che mi aveva chiesto di fare. Cucinandole accanto, però, mi sentivo più vicina a capirla. 

Nella cultura nordamericana dove sono cresciuta, il cibo è considerato, sempre più spesso, solo una necessità e non un modo per creare legami. Nonostante questo, sto realizzando come il cibo sia al centro di quasi ogni cultura e tradizione. Il cibo unisce le persone tra di loro. Studiando a Tecpan in Guatemala, ho scoperto l’enfasi che viene data al cibo fatto in casa e ai mercati locali, cosa che non ho mai notato negli Stati Uniti. Tecpan ha un mercato locale giornaliero, che tutte le domeniche e i giovedì si allarga a tutto il paese; produttori locali vengono da ovunque nei dintorni per vendere i loro prodotti. Spesso, in mezzo alla folla, perdo di vista la mia “mamma” alta quasi un metro e cinquanta. Ogni giorno ci serviamo dalle stesse bancarelle, lei chiacchiera con i contadini che conosce, e sceglie con cura i prodotti migliori, che variano di settimana in settimana e la cui selezione cambia in base alle stagioni, e ogni volta torniamo a casa con cibi differenti da cucinare. 

Ho apprezzato subito la freschezza di quei prodotti comprendendo che questo sistema di mercati locali è migliore per l’ambiente rispetto a quello a cui sono stata abituata. Nei supermercati dell’America del Nord gli scaffali sono pieni di frutta e verdura nella stessa identica quantità a prescindere dalla stagione. L’abilità di produrre questi cibi “perfetti” in ogni momento dell’anno è il risultato di Organismi Geneticamente Modificati (OGM) e dell’importazione di massa. Entrambi questi sistemi stanno danneggiando l’ambiente. Imbattermi in prodotti non OGM a Tepcan mi ha fatto riflettere sulla modalità di coltivazione di questi organismi modificati geneticamente che sono alla base dei cibi che fanno parte della mia dieta quotidiana quando sono negli Stati Uniti. 

Ho appreso che gli OGM sono coltivazioni geneticamente progettate dall’uomo in modo tale da rispettare determinate caratteristiche considerate desiderabili, come l’uniformità dell’apparenza e il mantenimento della freschezza durante i trasporti a lunga distanza. Sebbene queste caratteristiche rendano accessibili questi prodotti nei supermercati, le culture di OGM richiedono l’uso di prodotti chimici per l’agricoltura, che danneggiano l’ecosistema. Anche l’importazione di massa è causa di un utilizzo di enormi quantità di combustibile fossile che può mettere in pericolo l’agricoltura non intensiva e locale [2].

Durante i due mesi in cui ho vissuto in Guatemala sono stata influenzata da queste idee sul cibo. Nell’imparare l’importanza che hanno l’agricoltura locale e la cucina e nel costruire una relazione con la mia famiglia guatemalteca sono stata testimone di come il cibo è in grado di connette le persone e come può, al tempo stesso, essere causa della distruzione del nostro ambiente. A Tepcan ho anche visto che avere del buon cibo non significa necessariamente che esso possa essere un danno. Per preservare la cultura del cibo dobbiamo sforzarci di mantenere il suo sistema di produzione all’interno di ecosistemi locali e tradizionali, sempre meno dipendenti da prodotti chimici, combustibili fossili e OGM. Ora che sono di nuovo in Nord America, ho cercato di mantenere quella connessione che ho instaurato con la famiglia che mi ha ospitato in Guatemala comprando prodotti freschi, locali e cucinando piatti incredibili per le persone che ho accanto. 


Note

[1] La farina di granoturco (mais) è tipicamente usata per la preparazione di piatti tradizionali guatemaltechi come chucitos e tortillas

[2] Per più informazioni su gli OGM e sul sistema globale di produzione di cibo: Commitee on World Food Security “Genetically Modified Crops: Seed of Hope or Deception?” (http://www.fao.org/cfs/home/blog/blog-articles/article/en/c/1104228/); Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN “Agriculutral biotechnologies” (http://www.fao.org/biotech); Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (https://afsafrica.org); Pamela Ronald e Raoul Adamchak “Tomorrow’s Table” (Oxford University Press, New York, 2008). 


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Sidra Kennedy

Sidra Kennedy

Hi!! I’m Sidra, I’m 19 years old and I’m from the United States. I love discovering new cultures and meeting new people. So far I have lived, worked and studied in the US, Guatemala, Thailand and Ghana, but I hope to expand and learn more. My passion is education and one day I hope to dedicate my life to trying to provide education to everyone in the world. But for now, I’m trying to experience as much of the world as I can!

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