Associated with Bergamo Botanic Garden “Lorenzo Rota”

Interpretative Lunch: What do you eat?

On 17th March, 2017, during a training course on Heritage Interpretation (two days to discover techniques in interpretation of cultural heritage, nature, botany, art, architecture and landscape) Bergamo Botanic Garden “Lorenzo Rota” proposed a different way of have lunch –  an interpretative lunch – to disseminate the BigPicnic Project. 

During the lunch break participants of the training course in Villa Grumello on the Lake of Como, were invited to stop for a moment and think about food security.

Everything started with a brainstorming activity. Everyone was invited to write their name and what food security means to them on a piece of paper. After that the participants were divided into three groups based around three topics: food and environmental impact; food and nutritional values; food and emotions. At this stage they were invited to help themselves to lunch. Information about ecological footprint, carbon footprint, water consumption, nutritional values, obesity, nutrition, food waste, eating habits, food labels etc was presented on the walls and the dining table. Each person had to prepare a plate related to their given topic, exchange it with another person and explain why they had made certain choices.

After lunch garden staff presented BigPicnic and the involvement of botanic gardens in food security. Participants were invited to share their thoughts on the topic and methodology. 

Participants thoughts on food security and BigPicnicFeedback from participants about what food security means to them. Photo credit: Archive Bergamo Botanical Garden

Participants represented a broad range of educators including naturalists, tour guides, teachers and guides working in museums.

The activity has allowed us to understand better what people think about food security and how much they feel involved. We found that there is a lot of confusion and food security as a concept is not commonly understood. Participants were interested and surprised at the same time to learn a bit about it! Our garden has helped them to have more awareness of such an important topic and given us some insight into how we can improve this activity in the future.

Participants making their own plate based on a given topicParticipants were asked to make up a plate of food based around a particular topic. Photo credit: Archive Bergamo Botanical Garden