Mozart was influential as well, and a festival called "New Found Hope" was recently held in honor of his membership in the Freemason organization, the Masonic Lodge. Held in Vienna, it was "a month-long, one-of-a-kind, genre-spanning event linking agriculture and culture, with food at its heart."
The event included niche discussions about local and international food issues, especially "feeding children healthy food, creating networks between organic farmers and school cafeterias, and weaving food into the curriculum."
The discussions were organized by food activist, Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse Foundation. The decade-old, California based group is creating programs to battle childhood obesity by introducing healthy food into schools. Her concerns are clear:
Not only are children eating unhealthy food, they are absorbing the values that go with it: the notions that food should be fast, cheap and easy; that abundance is permanent; that it doesn't matter where food comes from; and that it's ok to waste.
Other discussions gathered 150 concerned gourmands, organic farmers and restaurant owners to form local distribution networks and environmentalists, politicians, chefs and farmers addressed "the future of food."
Austria is the biggest contributer to organic farming in Europe and strongly advocates the use of organic food in public institutions like hospitals. 30% of the food served in school cafeterias is organic.
It's an important discussion and a good example of countries becoming more self-sufficient. Check out Austria's hunting regulations too - no wonder California's so progressive.