Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Leaders feast on Italian fare during hunger summit

Fresh cheese mousse with white chocolate
and sparkling wine sorbet.

Hypocrisy is exactly the word for this.

What in hell is wrong with a simple fucking plate of spaghetti? And, just to be decadent, a slice of cake for dessert? No one expects them to fast during these talks, but puff pastries with corn and mozzarella, pasta with pumpkin and shrimp, rolls of thinly sliced veal, cheese mousse, parmesan risotto, lemon mousse with raspberry sauce and a [special] chilled white wine? That's just obscene.

Maybe obscene is a better word than hypocrisy.

As for the starving &ndash let 'em eat cake.
For presidents and premiers at summits, delicacies washed down by fine wines are all part of the agenda.

But the puff pastries with corn and mozzarella, pasta with pumpkin and shrimp, and rolls of thinly sliced veal served up Tuesday at a U.N. conference on fighting hunger were a contrast to bleak accounts of starving people around the world.

The menu was in French but the fare was strictly Italian, served in a dining room at the headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The repast was accompanied by a chilled white wine from Orvieto in the hills of Umbria north of Rome.

"It's pretty standard stuff," said FAO spokesman Nick Parsons, describing the meal as "pleasant, light and nutritious."

For decades, the FAO has striven for a sober culinary touch since an embarrassing moment during a similar summit called in 1974 amid a food crisis and oil shock.

The foreign minister of Bangladesh, which had suffered a severe famine, addressed a nearly deserted conference hall as most of the delegates nibbled on canapes at a nearby cocktail party.

Commentators howled hypocrisy.

But in Rome, one of Europe's premier gastronomic capitals, it's hard to deliver a spare meal - and while they are here delegates will be eating such specialties as cheese mousse, parmesan risotto and lemon mousse with raspberry sauce.

The top delegates - heads of state and government - were invited to the luncheon in a special dining room. Everyone else ate in the cafeteria.

"Leaders can eat what they want as long as they take decisive action to deliver the policies and the aid in agriculture that is needed to ensure that poor people who are suffering from high food prices are helped," said Alexander Woollcombe, a spokesman for the British aid group Oxfam.

Of the foods mentioned in this post, how many of you have had any of them in the past month? Just asking.

An earlier post of mine indicated many are living on SPAM®, not veal and their "pasta " most likely consists of Ramen noodles with bits of meat so small they lodge between one's teeth.

This whole story was patently offensive from "Its pretty standard stuff..." to...its hard to deliver a spare meal..." to "Leaders can eat what they want..."

Note: Headline links to source.



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