Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  29 minutes
Date:  2013
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adults
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Old or New?

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In Lima, Peru, a new generation of top chefs are cooking with traditional ingredients and supporting traditional livelihoods.

Old or New?

The very future of food -- and farming -- is being re-imagined in a city where nobody dined out 20 years ago, where there is no national tradition of gastronomy, and where there is considerable malnutrition. But in the capital of Peru, a city not so long ago wracked by Shining Path terrorist violence, the top chefs -- men and women like Gaston Acurio, Javier Wong and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino -- believe gastronomy can achieve social justice.

Can this model really meet the challenge of providing enough food for 9.5 billion people by 2050? Scientists at Lima's agricultural university say we just can't afford to ignore the new models of industrial agriculture in favor of traditional methods. Is there room in the mix for the old and the new?

'Old or New? presents both sides of the debate, and highlights the crucial issue of the contrast between local, sustainable, community-based agriculture and high-yield industrialized techniques. Can the survival on the future be only based in the past? Is it a black and white choice or, as chef Gaston Acurio suggests, is it possible to find a way to integrate the two?' Fabio Parasecoli, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Food Studies, The New School, Author, Bite Me! Food in Popular Culture, co-Editor, Cultural History of Food

'Old or New? is a fascinating look at how Peruvian chefs, agronomists, and farmers are working together to protect heritage products grown and used for hundreds of years by incorporating them into an explosive and creative new regional and national cuisine. Peruvian chefs are seeking out new ingredients from around the country while agricultural planners are working to help farmers provide for these expanding markets, and farmers are earning money and renowned for their products.' Jane Fajans, Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University, Author, Brazilian Food: Race, Class and Identity in Regional Cuisines

'Very impressive. These films present current problems in global food production and consumption with unstinting clarity. They highlight figures who advocate for indigenous crops without simply turning back the clock or giving in to the Western model of industrial scale agriculture. They propose models which value the local economy and yet think progressively in ways that will help people deal with rising population and increasingly volatile market for foodstuffs. These are thinkers, activists, politicians and farmers who will shape the future of food around the world.' Ken Albala, Professor of History, University of the Pacific, Author, Beans: A History


Main credits

Richards, Jenny (Producer)
Cabello, Ernesto (Director)
Bradshaw, Steve (Film editor)

Other credits

Music, Audio Network, Educardo Barbaran Haime, Manuel Barron Garcia; camera, Ricardo Cabellos ... [et al.]; editor, Fabricio Deza.

Distributor credits


tv/e (Television Trust for the Environment)
Ernesto Cabello
Camera: Ricardo Cabellos, Ricardo Ayala, Mighuel Martinez, Antonio Garcia, Prospero Bozzo, Daniele Mattana, Fanscesco Manetti
Music: Audio Network, Educardo Barbaran Haime, Manuel Barron Garcia
Editor: Fabricio Deza
Senior Editor: Sotira Kyriacou
Concept Development: James Heer, Joanne Levitan
Series Researcher: Janet Weinstein
Production Managers: Caroline Hancock, Sheila Menon
Development Producer: Jenny Richards
Series Editor: Steve Bradshaw
A Guarango Film and Video Production

Docuseek2 subjects

Cultural Anthropology
Indigenous Studies
Culinary Arts
Latin American Studies

Distributor subjects

Developing World
Food And Nutrition
Global Issues
Latin American Studies
Local Economies
Sustainable Development
Urban Studies


Peru, Lima, chefs, traditional ingredients, traditional livelihoods, gastronomy, malnutrition, Shining Path, Gaston Acurio, Javier Wong, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, social justice, cooking, cuisine, farming, Lima's agricultural university, agriculture, industrial agriculture, Ivan Kisic, potatoes, nutritious, affordable food, biotechnology, GM foods, Marcel Gutierrez, Tim Beath, native potato festival, Lima, yanasara, Ayacucho, Pachamama, IFAD, Maria Scurrah, Malabar Restaurant, Pituca, anchoveta, Patricia Majluf,"Old or New?",Bullfrog Films

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