The Protagonists

    Many asked us why there was a flash mob at the McDonald’s outlet in Milan Expo 2015, during the recently concluded 5th Italian Cuisine in the World. Firstly, as all the flash mobs, also this one was a spontaneous one. It was not a part of the official program even though its aims were shared not only by all the participants to the Forum but also by the vast majority of the network itchefs-GVCI (over 2500 chefs, restaurateurs and culinary professional in 70 countries).

    Despite the appearance, the flash mob wasn’t against Mc Donald’s, even if all of us agree that the company of the Golden Arches is “among those responsible for the problems and irreconcilable conflicts of the present food system”, to use the words of Slow Food. The flash mob was instead a protest against Expo 2015. Chef Aira Piva, a senior associate to itchefs-GVCI, was very clear about it in his declarations to the media present: “We are outraged”, he said, “Expo 2015 could have been a unique opportunity for a clear, universal message about healthy, good and sustainable nutrition, which are the same values that the authentic Italian cuisine has spread all around the world”. He then added: “Instead the management decided that the easy money of the junk food multinational was a good reason to betray not only the values for which Milan was granted its Expo but also those of all the cuisines of Italy, the country hosting the event”. McDonald’s in the Expo 2015 is like selling pornography in a children’s book shop. Not by chance the chefs participating in the flash mob distributed the ingredients of Slow Food Presidia. “Because if Expo 2015 had followed the indications of Carlin Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, the Italian chefs in the world would have been very happy”, adds Paolo Monti, a chef who was among the founders of itchefs-GVCI. Officially Slow Food made very clear that with its decision of having McDonald’s as a sponsor, Expo lost the opportunity and the credibility “to provide guidelines and orientation, and became a sounding board for contradictory visions that can never be considered equally valid solutions to the same problem”. The presence of over 120 chefs at Expo 2015 was organised by the 5th Italian Cuisine in the World Forum and its Partners, as a spontaneous and responsible tribute to the efforts of Italy as a country hosting such a big event. No assistance whatsoever was received by Expo 2015 Management. The Chefs paid their entrance tickets