May 23, 2022

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Professor Emeritus Ballarini inaugurates the series “Dinner with Science”

The thirteenth edition of the “Dinner with Science” initiative, sponsored by Confagricoltura Piacenza, opened with the intervention of Giovanni Ballarini, Professor Emeritus of the University of Parma, who in the course of 95 years has attracted a large audience of the company with a report on meat anthropology, in which he investigated the links between anthropological evolution and meat consumption. He even cited the Bible as an ancient text to analyze the element from a cultural and social point of view. He walked through history and explained how the consumption of meat had always been so socially distinctive.

“At a certain point in our evolution there are three closely related events—the use of fire to cook meat and consumption as food—and brain development,” Ballarini said. “The teeth of dogs indicate that we are omnivores, and the molars that we also eat vegetables: we are omnivores, and if they all evolved A culture of its own relationship with meat, this is not the case for evolution which takes longer. For humans, meat is a biological necessity and provides the energy needed to make the brain work.”

“It weighs what our ancestors ate a million years ago. From the point of view of evolution, our species has the same biological needs as half a million years ago. What is changing rapidly, however, is the relationship between man and meat consumption. Every society changes this relationship – explained Ballarini – Meat consumption is valued differently today compared to before the 1950s when there was little availability, just as the opinion expressed in our culture differs from that of India. Looking at the relationship between man and the body is to assess the enormity of things.” Summarizing between quotes and examples: “Meat is a great social indicator, and is always considered precious.” The audience smiles when they ask who ate kidneys or livers in the last month, because it shows how consumption habits have changed even in a few decades. Faced with the advancement of highly processed foods that want to mimic meat and look at artificial meat in perspective, he explains, “There is nothing more industrial than Coca-Cola and yet soft drinks have led to an improvement in wine. We drink a lot less wine than in the past, As a food that gives us energy, and today it is a high-quality business, and artificial soft drinks have helped bring out the natural quality and stereotype of nature, because nature cannot be forgotten.Meat will have to deal with artificial things, but since drinks have raised the quality of wine, the advancement of artificial foods will improve Producing natural foods and therefore meat. Meat is a biological and cultural necessity and a passion: it will have a future linked to quality because emotions never go away. I could start a discussion about how to make quality meat, but I don’t want to tell you now what I’m going to tell you next year.”

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Michel Ludigiani, the former president of Confagricoltura Piacenza and coordinator of the initiative sponsored by Confagricoltura Piacenza and Agriturist, did not fail to understand its availability. To do this honor was Gianpietro Pisani, Regional and Local President of the Agriturist, Confagricoltura Farms Association. Also present in the evening Filippo Gasparini President of Confagricoltura Piacenza. Many professionals in the room: many veterinarians, professors.

The course, whose main theme this year will be the relationship between humans, animals and food, will continue Agnese Codignolawho will assess the progress of technologies aimed at the production of meat in the laboratory – on May 27 at the Boschi Celati farm, then it is Don’t turn Mirko Dalla Toure which will approach the topic from a philosophical point of view, and also through a critical analysis of animal rights theses. So Philip de Proud He will talk about the development of very exciting research he is doing on the effects of calorie restriction in the treatment of cancer. To close at the end of September with Alberto Grande Who is going to talk about how well the “story” about food corresponds to reality and how much it is the result of the ambiguity of marketing.

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