Speech of the Hon KP Chan on Promoting Slow-food Culture
• The Motion today has far-reaching implications. Slow-food culture is more than promoting public health, living habits and cuisine culture. It is also a display of positive attitude and art of life. In recent years, slow-food has become popular all over the world. Last year, Macau held an event on slow-food to promote traditional cuisines, appreciation of foodstuffs, and others with a view to encourage the custom of eating healthy.
• Slow-food is not just eating-slow. It is a custom of appreciation of cuisines from selection of foodstuffs, cookery to presentation at a pleasant setting. It is also an attitude of life. Unfortunately, daily life in Hong Kong is hurried. It is a luxury for workers to have a casual meal at leisure. At lunch time, restaurants are full. If deducting journey time back and forth from the office and waiting time in restaurant, there is only about half-an-hour left for taking the meal.
• Some workers do not even have meal time. For instance, many occupational drivers have no meal break and they might simply order take-away to eat between trips. This is of course not good for health. The Government has to step up civic education. It should work with the business sector to encourage standard working hours with a view to promoting slow-food culture as both belief and attitude of life. Thus, workers would enjoy reasonable and regular meal time.
• The precondition for developing cuisine culture is food safety. Imported foodstuffs have been repeatedly troublesome in recently years. Following pork, fish, poultry and eggs, vegetables are having problems too. Local safety standards on heavy metal in vegetables are rather lenient. Lead content margin, for instance, is 20 times higher than the European Union standard. As foodstuffs in Hong Kong are mostly imported, the Government should review and reexamine the safeguard mechanism for the purpose of reassuring food safety.
• Although Hong Kong is a fast growing economy, most people are merely pursuing simple living. Meals and accommodation are supposed to be the most humble needs. Yet, housing price is high and food is expensive. Moreover, food safety is often dubious. I ask the Government to living up with pulse of the people. What we ask for are eating-safe and “eating-slow” as well as healthy life with balanced work and leisure.