On December 10, 2015, the Slow Food network gathered again to celebrate Terra Madre Day. Held every year since 2009 on the occasion of Slow Food’s birthday, Terra Madre Day goes hand in hand with another important occasion, Human Rights Day. Slow Food and the Terra Madre food communities once again confirmed their vitality and commitment, showing the importance of being part of a grassroots organization.
Many communities shared photos and stories of their events on the Facebook page. Below is a short description of a few highlights of this year’s celebrations.
Slow Food Sydney organized a Sustainable Fish Dinner at Tom Kime’s restaurant, Ceru. The menu explored the flavors of the Lavant region and featured organic, free range and sustainable produce. During the evening there was a debate about what role Slow Food plays in shaping a more sustainable food future, how we all can make sustainable seafood choices and why they are so important.
A group of young people decided to educate the population about food sharing and food waste. They organized some eat-ins, unique opportunities to share food, customs and opinions in order to create together a new good, clean and fair food system, starting with consumers.
Slow Food Hong Kong celebrated Terra Madre Day with a festive dinner at Fish School, a recent creation by restaurateur Yenn Wong and chef David Lai which specializes in fresh, local seafood. Small dishes were shared in an intimate setting with an array of local products.
The Schnackala Convivium organized two events to celebrate Terra Madre Day. At the Alsatian market in Mulhouse a lunch based on traditional, local, seasonal foods and Ark of Taste products was served, while six young geography students screened the investigative documentary by Pierre Beccu, Regards sur nos assiettes, and held a discussion on the impact of consumer choices on the food production and distribution system.
In Würzburg, Terra Madre Day was dedicated to the topic of meat: “To eat meat or not, that is the question. And if meat, then for real: good, clean and fair meat.” The event tackled questions revolving around meat consumption, global responsibility, and discussed the framework of a good clean and fair food system. To see the other events organized by Slow Food Germany click here.
The celebration of local food is a truly important moment for local communities across the African continent. Slow Food Nyanza in partnership with Seed Savers Network celebrated Terra Madre Day by hosting a seed fair event in Gilgil. It brought together farming communities who displayed over 30 varieties of local crops seeds and provided a forum to understand the importance of seed saving, especially now that Kenyan farmers have lost over 90% of maize varieties. The Slow Food Youth Network was busy too with a Disco Soup at the Molo Street Children Project.
Slow Food Akadi organized a meeting at restaurant The Bafing, located in the river district in Bamako. There was a talk on climate change and the menu featured a local dish called ‘Ouidjila’, typical of northern Mali and generally consumed by the Tamasheq, Sonrai and Moorish people.
Slow Food Central Paraguay celebrated Terra Madre Day or Yvysy Ára (in Guarani) with several workshops on gardens, plants care tips and organic preparations to protect crops. They then organized a community lunch with local ingredients.
The Lobnya Chaika Convivium, near Moscow, organized a Festival of Taste for the Russian communities. Around 400 participants from the whole country gathered to share reflections on food and everyday food production activities, consumption, taste education and the traditions of individual communities.
Slow Food Ticino, in collaboration with ConPRoBio and Bioticino, organized an event at the Bellinzona Cantonal Library. The evening, moderated by journalist Bruno Bergomi, included a screening of Genetic Roulette. Jeffrey M. Smith’s documentary denounces the multinationals that produce and sell GMOs and the American government agencies that are not protecting consumers with adequate legislation. Through careful scientific research, the director gives voice to the concerns of doctors and other experts, providing an exhaustive overview of the risks to people and the simple choices we can all make to avoid GM foods. Following the screening, chef Meret Bissenger prepared snacks from Casa Merogusto using Slow Food Presidia and Ark of Taste products, along with other products from local organic producers who sold their goods at a small, specially organized market.
Taste education is one of Slow Food’s key activities. It is vital that new generations learn where their food comes from, how it was produced and by whom, but most of all that they learn to appreciate the cultural and social value of food, so that they don’t waste it. In order to do this, Slow Food Bodrum decided to celebrate Terra Madre Day for four whole days. From December 7 to 11, around 2,500 schoolchildren were involved in educational meetings about food and the importance of local production, while at the markets in Bodrum and Milas, a few kilometers from Bodrum, it was possible to taste typical dishes like Tarhana soup and Peksimet, a twice-baked bread, both Ark of Taste products.
At the Nama Wellness Youth Centre in Mukono, the national SFYN network organized the Forgotten Vegetables Party, a unique opportunity to discover foods and traditional recipes from regions and cultures around the country.