It’s a question that’s been asked over and over again, but it’s been largely ignored by the Italian government and the Italian people.
A recent poll found that just 12 percent of Italians were familiar with the term, and that more than half of them said they didn’t think they knew what the word meant.
In an attempt to change the conversation, a local food-focused group, the Italian Food Institute (IFI), released a short film on its website this month that uses an iconic image from the film The Great Gatsby to explain the concept.
The title reads “Bread, but not too much,” and is based on a line from the novel The Maltese Falcon.
It features a picture of the fictional protagonist Sebastian and a group of young Italians, all of whom appear to be eating pasta.
The film has already been viewed over 500,000 times, and the IFI’s director, Carlo Carlucci, says the campaign was inspired by the “very real experience of food insecurity in Italy.”
“When you look at the statistics, it is clear that the situation is serious, and it is the responsibility of the government to solve it,” Carluucci said in a statement.
“The Italians should know what to look for when buying Italian bread, and we want them to be aware that we do not have a monopoly on bread.”
The campaign was not the first time the IFi and Italian food-makers have partnered to raise awareness of the issue.
In 2015, a similar campaign was launched, using the iconic Italian flag, to help promote the country’s dairy industry.
The campaign featured a similar graphic: “We know it is hard to make money with our milk, and so we need to find a way to make it more sustainable,” reads a poster with a quote from the iconic painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
The goal is to “promote awareness of Italian food,” Carlyucci said.
“In the end, we hope that we can have a good understanding of the food issues in Italy, which can be used to develop new strategies to fight the problems,” he added.
“Our goal is not to replace the existing system, but to bring it into the 21st century.”