The project “Future Food” has come to an end. We had planned many gatherings, but, unfortunately, had to cancel the last two because of the pandemic. Our last face-to-face encounter took place in October 2021 in Spain. The Austrian and the Danish workshops had been planned and dates had been fixed, but were, sadly, cancelled.
The overall aim of the project was to raise diverse levels of awareness surrounding food. We wanted to make our students more aware of where their food comes from and how it contributes to their health, as well as the complex ways food involves every field from economics to politics, from public health to biology. Our aim was to stress the importance of independent decision-making surrounding food by supplying our students with information that had not been influenced by public opinion, advertising, or trends. The general aim was and is to help our students become better-informed and more health-conscious citizens.
- Austria – Graz International Bilingual School, Graz
- Denmark – Techcollege, Aalborg
- Germany – BBS1, Mainz
- Spain – Instituto Educación, Elche
- France – Lycée Scientifique, Chalon-sur-Saône
Elche – A Trip to Remember
Never would we have imagined that after two years of pandemic, we’d be participating in an Erasmus trip to Spain. The e-mail we received from Mrs. Pfistermüller (informing us that the trip would be taking place), had us dreaming about paellas, palm trees, and beaches. We knew it would definitely be a cool but brutal transition for us, as we had been used to the cold streets of Graz. That being said, the sudden news of an Erasmus trip about “Future Food” brightened up the beginning of our last year at GIBS.
Waking up early on a Sunday was worth it as we travelled closer and closer to the southern coast of Spain. But staying awake took some serious effort, as we had to wait multiple hours at the Zurich airport in Switzerland. We practiced some dances for our Matura Ball and ate expensive Swiss snacks to keep us awake.
When we arrived, we met our lovely host families who cooked us amazing food and made us feel at home from the beginning. We got to enjoy one last vacation before the lockdown back home, filled with stand-up-paddling and meals with amazing cultural food. So many ever-lasting memories have been made: meeting new people across Europe and learning new (swear) words in numerous languages gave us the chance to broaden our horizons. We were able to enjoy lots of fun activities and many warm evenings.
The Teachers in Elche
We learned so much from the teachers in Elche. Their teaching style was very hands-on, creating authentic ways for us to have experiences around food in ways that we will always remember. We went on many tours that allowed us to see how sustainable and organic food can be produced – for example, we took a tour around olive oil production and got to try the oil right from the source! We had workshops on veganism and using food to improve your health suggesting that food is really the best medicine! We also focused on practical tips for living a healthy life, no matter how busy you are, which certainly equipped us with skills we can use forever. The practical teaching style, in combination with the many field trips we took, have impressed upon us the importance of creating healthy, sustainable food and habits. We will certainly remember what we’ve learned for a lifetime!
T-shirt Logo Competition
While in Spain, we had a competition to design a logo for the Erasmus Plus program. This was perfect, as the school that we visited had its own t-shirt printing workshop, where the students could press and distribute their own custom designs. Students from every country (Austria, Spain, France, Germany, and Denmark) participated, but our design, created by Teresa, won! As the entire trip was centred around “Future Food”, our logo featured a green alien. He is sitting in a flying saucer holding cutlery, happily waiting to eat. On top of the glass shield, protecting him from the atmosphere in space, there is a cheeseburger – representing the food aspect of the project. Our alien spacecraft is framed by the words “Erasmus +”, the name of the project. The entire logo was printed on a real t-shirt, bringing out the green of the alien’s skin. We think this logo represents both the elements of “Future Food”, as well as the playful atmosphere that we experienced while in Spain.
Workshops on Food
As we have already mentioned, we got to experience many different foods while in Spain. We were able to try freshly cooked Paella, a meal that underlined the importance of home cooking and also introduced us to authentic Spanish culture. We got to learn about the Spanish language through workshops on meal times as well, as we were given helpful food-related phrases to try out and use on our trip. We went on tours to understand organic and sustainable food production on a larger scale, giving us insight to the future of the food industry. The workshops showed us so much about consumption on a multitude of dimensions (from the familial level all the way up to the industrial), and will aid us in shaping future choices surrounding food in our daily lives in Austria.
Even now, we can think back to this week with a smile and are already thinking about a reunion with the other students in Spain. It was truly an amazing trip and we are very grateful for having made so many great new friendships.
Carolina Galante, Emma Grofe, Flavio Fanti, Diana Momtaheni, Teresa Platzer