“If you look at developing countries and

things like that, if you could just open up maybe two or three ingredients that are hyper-local, so we don’t have to distribute products, you’re knocking down food miles.”

–Homaro Cantu – 1976-2015

 If you are a foodie who loves to travel and try new cuisines, then you really need to keep an eye out for some of the biggest food festivals in the world. One such event was held for five weeks in 2013 in Rotterdam, a major port city in the Dutch province of South Holland. If you are curious to know more about it, well, here are the highlights. Hosted by the port town of Rotterdam, The World Food Festival took place in Rotterdam’s Museum Park with a showcase of culinary talent by caterers, food producers, chefs and scientists. The spectators included a large number of gourmets and professionals who got to taste the 170 diverse delicacies of various cultures. Not only did people get the chance to enjoy these cuisines, the festival also allowed them to visit various large and small events along with markets, workshops, interactive exhibitions, city walks and harbour excursions. The purpose of the programme was to exhibit culinary trends and the latest developments in the food industry. It also focused upon the world food issues, significance of nutrition for a healthy living and discussed the local initiatives in the field of sustainable food. One of the popular exhibitors was Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik from the United States. She created a wall of spices by using spices like paprika, cumin, cloves, cardamom and turmeric, to show how people from different cultural backgrounds could come together through a good meal. She visualized that “eating together establishes an emotional bond between people.” This was a very strong take-home message for the visitors: the fact that in the modern-era, the tradition of eating together by family members is gradually declining. In some cases, the families are falling apart for a number of reasons, while in others, the trend of sitting together and enjoying even a small cup of an evening tea is getting replaced with job, friends, school work or other priorities. Surely, such events are needed at a national level as well to encourage healthy eating.