What if your entire city adhered to a vegetarian diet? Recently elected Turin mayor Chiara Appendino pledged that promoting vegetarian diets will be a “priority” for her. But there could be backlash, as Piedmont, the Italian region in which Turin is located, is home to famous meat dishes and meat producers.
How might Appendino create a “vegetarian city?” We don’t yet know the strategy details, but many expect Turin to focus on school education and teaching children about nutrition. But there are those who would guard a meat-eating lifestyle in Italy. Last year the World Health Organization classified cured meats as carcinogenic, and Italian meat producers called the label “meat terrorism.” Dishes like brasato al Barolo (wine-braised meat) or vitello tonnato (veal in tuna sauce) have been staples of northern Italy’s cuisine for “centuries.”
Environment councilor Stefania Giannuzzi indicated the administration may be willing to work with meat producers. She told Italian publication Corriere della Sera (translated by The Guardian), “I would not want to create a contrast with the meat industry. We do not want to close the small shops or ruin the people who have worked for years to develop the Piedmontese food and wine heritage.”
Many within the Five Star Movement (M5S), the party of which Appendino is part, espouse vegetarian or vegan diets. In the past, M5S founder Beppe Grillo praised the documentary Cowspiracy and supported vegetarian childcare centers on his popular blog. Potential party leader Luigi di Maio had a vegan cake for his 30th birthday. A “vegetarian city” may sound like the hallmark of a progressive party, yet The Guardian noted while M5S promotes clean energy and environmentalism, they’re more ambiguous on other issues such as LGBT rights and migration. The Guardian also described M5S as “eurosceptic,” or anti-European Union.
Via The Guardian