Skip to content

FHF at the UNESCO World Forum in Parma

Dr. Chedid talking about the role of FHF in preserving food heritage in Lebanon. Photo©UNESCO

On September 12 and 13, 2019 the UNESCO organized, in collaboration with the Government of the Italian Republic, and with the support of the Region of Emilia-Romagna and the Municipality of Parma, the World Forum on “Culture and Food: Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Development”.

The forum gathered speakers and participants from around the world to analyze and discuss the links between food, culture and society, as well as the evolving landscape of food security and food Systems, and their role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Panel 1 included speakers from Mexico, Lebanon, Italy, France, Ghana and Haiti. Photo©UNESCO

The Food Heritage Foundation was represented by its president Dr. Mabelle Chedid who was invited bu the UNESCO as a speaker in the first panel about ” Cultural heritage and food: the foundations of cultural identity”.

Dr. Chedid introduced the activities of FHF aiming at preserving the Lebanese culinary identity as well as creating bonds between the old and new generations through sharing recipes and traditions. In her talk, she stressed on the clear dissociation between food and culture in a world that is becoming more globalized and where the basis of food is becoming uni-dimensional with a declining cultural diversity. However, mentioned some pockets of resistance such as the international Slow Food movement and religious communities which are still capable of preserving aspects of food culture all over the world. According to Dr. Chedid, to be able to face and adapt to global trends, culinary traditions need to be well anchored in the societies (where they are practices, consumed, produced etc.) and should have a certain economic value for the people. She gave the example of “kishk” an agro-pastoral product produced and consumed in rural Lebanon, which was able to sustain its production by rural women despite the changes that occurred in its main ingredients: goat milk and bulgur. Despite the decline in milk population and consequently goat milk, and the substitution of old wheat varieties with imported hybrid and more productive ones, kishk recipe proved to be resilient by adapting to new ingredients: cow milk instead of goat milk and new varieties of wheat.

Panel 2: Culture for the socio-economic development of urban and rural areas: new cultural policies

The interview with Dr. Chedid on UN News is available in Arabic here.

4 thoughts on “FHF at the UNESCO World Forum in Parma”

  1. Karen Ruth Abraham Grimmer

    I would love to buy kisk made from Lebanon. Not sure what I have from the Mideastern store. Can I purchase from one of the families or co-op?

  2. Karen Ruth Abraham Grimmer

    Also in the 1950’s-60’s Our family sent us kishk from Sirain. It was so good. Must have been made with goat milk and heritage wheat? So that’s why the kishk I buy at the local Mid-Eastern store tastes different. Not bad. Just different.

    1. Hello Karen! always read the ingredients on the kishk you buy in the states: some are prepared with milk powder and bulgur instead of fermented milk-bulgur mixture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *