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Food and Communities: Perspectives of Sharing Society

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Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS,volume 85)

Abstract

The work explores the role of food as a fundamental tool to create social identity and to change society itself too. Nutrition is a fundamental process for existence, not only because it would be impossible to survive without eating, but also because this need is linked to particular moods, to the sense of taste, and to the very consciousness of living. Food is linked to living together, to working together. It acquires strong symbolic and social values because food, meals, habits, and eating styles are essentially social facts. The work will explore how, in history, food can be analyzed as an organic cultural whole. Foods are therefore at the basis of the construction of social groups in terms in which all foods become identity messages. The new emerging criticalities show how food is part of both the problem and the possible resolution.

Keywords

  • Food
  • Sharing society

“The human being has its roots in the concrete, active and natural participation in the existence of a community that keeps alive certain treasures of the past and certain presentiments of the future”.

Simone Weil, 1954.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-97806-8_8
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Notes

  1. 1.

    Their function was to constitute a support to the agricultural cycle. To this end, for their functioning the peasants participated with free workdays during the sowing and harvesting and the result was preserved as seeds to be distributed to the farmers who did not have them. When there were large surpluses in the warehouses, a part was sold, and the money thus obtained was used for the creation of pawnshops in order to lend to farmers the sums for the expenses of the harvest at a rate of 5%. Ghinato, I primitivi Monti frumentari di fra Andrea da Faenza in Antonianum. Periodicum philosophico-theologicum, 33 (1958:423–442); 34 (Ghinato, 1959: 32–72).

    For the loan of cereals, the interest was calculated according to the tradition of measuring the grain “at level” of the unit of measurement at the time of sowing and returning it “full” at the time of harvest.

  2. 2.

    In the first half of the century. XIX the Monti Frumentari were subjected to a vast work of revision and reconstitution: they were assimilated to “establishments of humanity,” or pious works, and regulated in the procedures of conservation, loan, and return of the grains. At the time of the unification of Italy there were over 1900 Monti Frumentari in the Opere Pie (i.e., Pious Institutions or Public Institutions of Assistance and Charity), with a massive concentration in Abruzzo and Molise, Umbria, Campania. The Italian legislation considered the Monti Frumentari to be real Opere Pie, albeit with fluctuating interpretations by the Council of State, and subjected them to the control of the Ministry of the Interior.

  3. 3.

    The phenomenon of land grabbing is not negative in itself, since it can bring both good opportunities for the recipient countries of the phenomenon and risks: on the one hand, acquisitions can guarantee an injection of precious resources for investments, actually economic where the latter are necessary but in short supply; on the other hand, there is a real risk that local populations may lose control and access power over the land ceded and over the natural resources connected to land and soils, such as, water. It is therefore crucial to ensure that acquisitions are made in a way that minimizes risks and maximizes opportunities for economic growth and development (Von Braun & Meinzen-Dick, 2009).

  4. 4.

    Fran Glaria concludes “Suddenly, the four ladies fell silent and looked at me with an intriguing smile. Since I am a city boy, I was not even considered responsible for the animals. These ladies know that I am a tour guide and that I am good at talking, so they decided it was my job to talk to her. Since she was too tired to read, I was reading her favorite book of hers, a collection of real love letters written by historical figures.”

  5. 5.

    Via Campesina is the international movement that brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-sized farmers, landless people, peasant women, indigenous people, migrants, and agricultural workers from all over the world. It defends small sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity. He is firmly opposed to the agricultural corporatism led by multinationals that are destroying people and nature. He launched the idea of “food sovereignty” at the 1996 World Food Summit. Via Campesina includes around 150 local and national organizations in 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Overall, it represents around 200 million peasants. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic or other type of affiliation (online at https://www.assorurale.it/Archive/la_via_campesina.html)

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Di Francesco, G. (2022). Food and Communities: Perspectives of Sharing Society. In: Facioni, C., Di Francesco, G., Corvo, P. (eds) Italian Studies on Food and Quality of Life. Social Indicators Research Series, vol 85. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97806-8_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97806-8_8

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