It’s always a pleasure each year to present the Slow Food Almanac, the most reliable and, insofar as it is received by our members all over the world, the most looked at snapshot of what and who we are — though words and pictures alone cannot, of course, fully capture the many souls of our movement.
We represent a sizable portion of the people who, in the most disparate corners of the earth, put food at the center of their lives, though maybe no real way exists of conveying us completely in all our complexity.
We are aware, though, that much of the content of the Almanac — values, ideas for getting over the crisis, the new paradigms needed to ensure a future for the generations to come — and of what we represent as people and communities is shared by all the others too, even the most distant and diverse. A necessary part of the equation is the earth itself, which, since it nourishes us and lets us grow, we have to love and respect as best we can. It is the earth that gives us food and culture, strengthening our communities and families and allowing us, if we wish to, to share the knowledge that is our true wealth. Nor can we forget food which, when virtuous, is the highest possible expression of our interaction with the environment in which we live and of which we are an integral part.
As always, we have sought to speak about Slow Food and Terra Madre stories, projects, products and people. Simple storytelling, we believe, is the best way of doing justice to the lives of those engaged in the work summed up in the slogan of Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2012: “Foods that change the world”. The event conveys an idea of how, through food, we can put forward real alternatives to a development model that is no longer suitable for us or for the earth. What is needed is the constant, silent change that Edgar Morin evoked when he wrote that, “Everything must begin again and everything has already begun”. In our own small way, we are the proof of the fact that “everything has already begun”, because with our best practices we are a vanguard of change whose guiding light is the central role of food. Just as important as the Almanac, by the way, is the brief document we have drawn up for the World Congress in Turin entitled precisely “The Central Role of Food”. It has been distributed among members and, through them, as an object of discussion to civil society and the institutions. We are proud to consider it the nucleus of ideas that underpin our network and will lay the bases for the Congress ahead. It’s not too late here to ask you to read it one more time.
After which you can enjoy the Almanac, which explains exactly how we put food at the center of everything. As a celebration of what we are, it is a joy to read and browse through. You’ll find it revolutionary in its simplicity.
President of Slow Food
Click here to read the Almanac.