“This much I know, if we are what we eat, then I only wanna eat the good stuff!”Remy (from Ratatouille)
Films and advertisements have been influencing our diet for a long time now. Certain animated characters have been a key asset for spreading the word among the masses, leaving a permanent mark on them. Cartoons like Popeye, Tom & Jerry, Looney Toons have greatly influenced viewers’ diets as they stressed eating healthy foods. Similarly, we learn lessons from Ratatouille concerning health and lifestyle.
When it comes to cooking mouthwatering food, offering tips on to learn mindful cooking and how it can make one-stop eating trash, one can owe it all to Ratatouille! Let’s concentrate on these lessons from Ratatouille we need to incorporate and how it expounds on mindful cooking too.
Don’t Know Ratatouille?
Anyone can cook!Auguste Gusteau
A Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille” is a beautiful narration of the life of a rat named Remy in Paris, who is intelligent and has an unusually heightened sense of taste and smell. Remy idolizes chef Auguste Gusteau and dreams of becoming a chef like him! Due to his fondness for good food and flavors, Remy keeps experimenting with different food ingredients he finds in an old lady’s kitchen. During a flee, he accidentally gets separated from his clan and eventually ends up at Gusteau’s restaurant.
Remy witnesses a garbage boy, Alfredo Linguini, accidentally spills the soup and, in the process of clearing up the mess, adds the wrong ingredients to it. Remy rectifies the soup but is caught by Linguini while doing so! The soup accidentally gets served to the customer, and Linguini’s surprise turns out to be a success. Further, Linguini decides to keep Remy veiled, and together as an alliance, they work as chefs.
Remy, using his awesome cooking abilities, helps Linguini cook alluring dishes. He helps him get a good glowing review by world-renowned food critic Anton Ego for his modified version of Gusteau’s special dish “Ratatouille.” (Anto Ego gave a negative review for Gusteau’s restaurant causing the death of the former owner “Auguste Gusteau”)
Lessons From Ratatouille
1. Don’t Eat Trash
Remy has been shown preaching to his fellow rats not to eat trash. He encourages them to admire humans and eat fresh food like fruits, cheese, vegetables instead of rotten food lying in the dumps. It’s a beneficial message that needs to be stressed today; a dire need to start turning towards fresh ingredients! Remy also insists that his family and friends eat healthy and good food, as he firmly believes that “we are what we eat.”
2. Anyone Can Cook
Ratatouille scraps out the myth that only a few can cook. The film portrays the example with Remy’s help that the rat can be an exemplary chef! Cooking is a skill that one can master eventually by developing one’s sense of taste and smell, experimenting with various ingredients over a while. It’s a small message yet an important one as we enter a league where slowly cooking might have perished soon.
In busy and hectic schedules, generations have forgotten to pass on this baton to the next: the baton of cooking dishes that their generation has grown up eating; the baton of the secret recipes for good health every family has. They are now buried under heaps of stored and ready to eat packed food.
3. Mindful Cooking
Ratatouille teaches one that good taste, good aroma, and appearance make the dish palatable. Hence, cooking should be done whole-heartedly, with a proper frame of mind. One doesn’t have to be a top-class chef to cook good palatable food. Ratatouille makes one fall in love with cooking and experimenting with various ingredients loaded with fresh and distinct flavors. It also welcomes modifications of the traditionally practiced recipes: Remy’s modification to Gusteau’s old recipe of Ratatouille.
4. Food Can Transport One Into Memory Lanes
Remy’s ratatouille dish reminded Anton of his mother’s cooking. Cooking can connect one back to their roots, reminding them of the flavors that they savored as kids. It boosts a healthy mental connection.
5. The Ratatouille Effect
The film managed to be a significant influence on the youth. Promoting healthy eating habits and mindful culinary skills soon came to be known as “the Ratatouille Effect.” People from food backgrounds started coming up with their modified versions of Ratatouille, while scientists began researching and experimenting with this Ratatouille Effect.
Researching The Ratatouille Effect
In a 2015 research, Anarina Murillo, MuntaserSafan, Carlos Castillo-Chávez, studied “Modeling Eating Behaviors: the Role of Environment and Positive Food Association Learning via a Ratatouille Effect.” They culminated the effect of different population-level strategies and how institutionalizing nutritional programs according to the community’s norms and value play a crucial factor in the economic, social, cultural, and environmental element.
Dole’s Healthy Cooking Initiative Inspired By Ratatouille
The Shelby Report published a news report on Dole’s healthy cooking initiative (partners with Disney Pixar) inspired by Ratatouille in October 2020. Dole had worked with 20 teams at Disney Pixar to create easy recipes, after which they came up with “Little Chef Potato-Leek Soup and the signature Critic’s Choice Rustic Ratatouille.”
In the pandemic situation, Dole’s director of communication, Mr. William Goldfield, brought up issues and widespread misconceptions like “cooking are difficult, and if you weren’t taught to cook at an early age, it’s too late to learn now.” He also believed that we have lately been distant from the pleasures and satisfaction and health benefits that we get from cooking a dish from scratch with fresh ingredients.
Dole’s health and communication manager, Melanie Marcus (M.A., R.D.), had created many dishes back then, but the first ten were selected for this initiative. In May, North America first witnessed this initiative when Remy’s images showed up on Dole’s bananas and pineapples and supermarkets in the U.S. and Canada.