Slow Food Goes Brussels

Join Alice Poiron, our Brussels correspondent, as she lifts the lid on the European Union and how its influence impacts the food that you eat. This series offers a front-row seat in today’s most heated debates, covering the topics of animal welfare, GMOs, food poverty and more. So tune in, subscribe, and stay informed through Slow Food.

May 2024

How are EU elections affecting green ambitions in food policy?

What is going on with the Common Agricultural Policy in Europe? What is the simplification package and what were the hidden reasons behind it? Can we afford to put environmental protection measures aside in this moment of history?

This episode is part of the series Slow Food Goes Brussels, where we dissect the political debates linked to the greatest challenges food and agriculture are facing. In the previous episode of this series we explained why farmers were protesting in the beginning of the year. In today’s episode we look into what is the response of the EU Institutions to the latest farmers protests. This response is namely what the Commission is calling a „simplification“ of the CAP, but what is in fact a reform: they are deciding to rollback on green conditions.

Host & Production: Valentina Gritti

Guests: Giulia Gouet (policy officer at Slow Food International), Gerardo Fortuna (senior reporter at Euronews) and Paul Behrens (Associate Professor of Environmental Change).

Links:

Endorsing the Slow Food Manifesto: https://feedthechange.slowfood.com/

Webinar: „Feed the Change: Why the EU Elections Matter for the Future of Food“ | May 28th @1pm CET | Register to the webinar –> https://www.slowfood.com/events/feed-the-change-the-webinar/

March 2024

Farmers protests: what are they really about?

In the past months, farmers have been protesting all over Europe. They’re marching and driving tractors through city streets. But sadly, what’s happening follows a pattern we see often. A serious protest, born out of real struggles, is being made to seem less important. It’s being turned into a fight between farmers and environmentalists, or farmers and the European Union. And some people are using it for their own gain, like trying to win votes or protect their own interests.

Today, we’ll talk about why farmers are protesting and with a focus on common grounds and on solving the root problems in our food system.

Guests: Natasha Foote (Freelance agri-food journalist), Jereon Candel (Professor of food and agricultural policy at Wageningen University), Sebastian Mira (Farmer from Slow Food Pays Catalan).

Farmers‘ protest audio’s source: the Telegraph

December 2023

2023 Policy Highlights and Upcoming EU Parliament Elections

Last podcast of the year: a great way to catch up with European advocacy highlights of 2023 and what to expect in 2024!

Between 6–9 June 2024, millions of Europeans will participate in shaping the future of European democracy on the occasion of the European elections. It is a unique moment when people of 28 European countries collectively decide on the future of the European Union. Why does it matter from the food movement point of view?

Host: Valentina Gritti
Guests: Madeleine Coste, Slow Food Advocacy Director
Jannie Vestergaard, Slow Food international councillor for the Nordic CountriesIf you want to know more about the Good Food Good Farming campaign, you can read this article.
Find out more about Slow Food in the Nordic Countries and their initiatives on the website https://slowfoodnordic.com/

You can follow @SlowFoodEurope on twitter to be updated on European Advocacy… and join our Telegram group to be part of the Podcast community!

November 2023

What can we expect from COP28? A conversation with Raj Patel and Edward Mukiibi

COP 28 has just begun. The attention of all those who care about the climate crisis and work to influence governments and institutions to adopt effective mitigation and adaptation measures have their eyes on Dubai. It is the first COP held since the full release of the latest update in March 2023 of the 6th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC). This report summarises and synthesises the most up-to-date climate science and provides the best scientific basis to set climate policy. Today I am delighted to host two very special guests to discuss some updates from COP 28 with a special eye on how food systems are driving the climate crises and what solutions are on the table.

Host: Valentina Gritti

Guests: Raj Patel is a British Indian academic, journalist, activist and writer. Slow Food President Edward Mukiibi is also with us to dialogue with him.

Post-production: Jonathan Remy

Music: Leonardo Prieto Dorantes

Link to IPES report „From Plate to Planet“: https://www.ipes-food.org/pages/platetoplanet

Follow @SlowFoodEurope on twitter!

And join our Telegram group:

November 2023

How Can We Recognise Greenwashing and Corporate Farming?

We are going to focus our conversation on Greenwashing: what is it exactly? Who is behind it? How does it work and what can we do to face it?

I am delighted to carry out today’s discussion with two experts on the topic of Greenwashing. Hazel Healy is DeSmog’s UK Editor. She is also a freelance writer and broadcaster specializing in stories about food justice, climate and migration. Hazel recently published together with Rachel Sherrington the article “A Guide to Six Greenwashing Terms Big Ag Is Bringing to COP28” on DeSmog, independent, investigative website.

The second guest of today is Kavya Chowdhry. Kavya is from India and works as a researcher with ETC, the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration. ETC Group is a small, international, research and action collective committed to social and environmental justice, human rights and the defense of just and ecological agri-food systems and the web of life. Kavya is co-author of the report „Food Barons 2022. Crisis Profiteering, Digitalization and Shifting Power“ together with Hope Shand and Kathy Jo Wetter.

Host: Valentina Gritti

Guests: Hazel Healy from De Smog and Kavya Chowdhry, ETC.

Post-production: Jonathan Remy

Music: Leonardo Prieto Dorantes

Follow @SlowFoodEurope on twitter!

And join our Telegram group: https://t.me/+xSzaZeIyCUM1NjJk

Financed by the European Union. The contents of this podcast are the sole responsibility of the author and CINEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

A project by Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN)

September 2023

GMOs and Pesticides, A Chemical Romance

So many of the foods we eat everyday are sprayed again and again with pesticides before landing on our table. And we all learned over the years, one scandal after another, that this is no good news, either for our health or the environment. But what most people don’t know is the tight connection between pesticides and GMOs. As the European Union is about to take some critical decisions on both pesticides and GMOs, we unveil the troubling truth about that very toxic couple, which are tied by many links, with our three guests:
  • Mute Schimpf, policy officer at Friends of the Earth Europe
  • Bosse Dalhgren, Slow Food farmer in Scotland
  • Karina Ocampo, Slow Food activist in Argentina

News samples used in the episode were taken from:

“Bayer loses third appeals case over glyphosate weedkiller”, Reuters, August 10, 2021

“What you’re eating: Consumer Reports investigates GMOs in food”, CBS News, October 7, 2014

“Monsanto ordered to pay $289M to man who claimed weedkiller contributed to cancer”, CBS News, 2018

“In Chile, amateur beekeeper rescues hives from coastal tourist city”, Reuters, December 7, 2022

“Kenya’s GMO maize push sowing trouble for food sector, farmers warn”, Reuters, December 17, 2022

Host: Alice Poiron
Co-host: Valentina Gritti
Post-production: Jonathan Remy
Music: Leonardo Prieto Dorantes

Follow @SlowFoodEurope on twitter!

And join our Telegram group: https://t.me/+xSzaZeIyCUM1NjJk

Financed by the European Union. The contents of this podcast are the sole responsibility of the author and CINEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

A project by Slow Food Youth Network

July 2023

The Urban Food Revolution

Cities are at the forefront of one of the most pressing problems of our times — food. According to the United Nations (UN), 54% of the world’s population were living in urban areas in 2016 — and that figure is predicted to rise to 66% by 2050.  For this episode, we take you on a journey to three pioneering cities: Bordeaux (France), Birmingham (England) and Groningen (The Netherlands). You will discover how they’re acting, in collaboration with local people and food stakeholders to limit food systems’ impact on climate and the environment, improve people’s wellbeing, shorten, and strengthen production chains, and guarantee access to good food for all.

Our guests are:

  • Yael Pantzer, policy officer specialized in urban food policies at Slow Food
  • Kate Smith, volunteer at Slow Food Birmingham
  • Apolline Beyris-Duvigneau, food officer for the municipality of Bordeaux
  • Hilde Lavell and Hiltje van der Wal, food officers for the municipality of Groningen

Also available on Apple Podcast.

June 2023

Breaking the Chain of Food Poverty

Enough food is produced worldwide to feed 10 billion people, yet hunger is on the rise. While vulnerable populations from the Global North cannot afford healthy and nourishing food, a growing number of people from the Global South must battle every day to simply get access to food. The current food system leaves many behind, putting profit before people. But such injustice is not irreversible: political leaders, from any level, must commit to reshaping our food system and giving it back its true purpose: nourishing everyone. Why is there food poverty and with what consequences? Who suffers from food poverty? What should the political answer be to help fight against it? You’ll learn all about in this episode, where we take you on a journey across the world, from the Global South to the Global North, with our guests:

Also available on Apple Podcast.

December 2022

The Political Power of Food, with Marta Messa

In June 2022, Slow Food elected a young and inspiring woman as Secretary General: Marta Messa. As Marta is also director of Slow Food Europe, we asked her our many questions about the political power of food in the world and about the upcoming opportunities to achieve a good, clean, and fair food policy in Europe. How can we save the world through food? Why is food so political? Is Europe on track to transition to sustainable food systems or are we going backwards? But also… what is Marta’s favorite winter dish? Tune in to find out!

Useful links mentioned in the podcast:
– Book: “Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, From Sustainable to Suicidal”: https://markbittman.com/avj
– Book: “Oryx and Crake”: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46756.Oryx_and_Crake
– Podcast: “The Daily” by the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily

Also available on Apple Podcast.

December 2022

Busting the Myths About Food Waste

1/3 of the food produced worldwide is either wasted or lost, which means it never ends up where it is supposed to : on our plates. Why is this a problem?  Well, it costs countries millions of euros in lost revenue, causes unnecessary stress on the food chain, and harms the environment by contributing to global warming and climate change. Many myths have been circulating about what causes food waste and who produces more of it. You’ll learn all about it in this episode, and of course, about what’s up in the European Union to help address food waste, because there is no fun without a tad of food policy.

Our guests are:

  • Anne-Luz Pijnenburg, member of the Slow Food Youth Network in Amsterdam
  • Martin Bowman, food waste campaigner at Feedback
  • Tom Václavík, coordinator of Slow Food Brno in Czech Republic

Also available on Apple Podcast.

October 2022

Reconciling Food and Health

Food and health are intimately connected. But while the impact of the overconsumption of ultra-processed food on our body is well known by all of us, other negative phenomena directly linked to the production of food are not. Although they endanger human health, but also that of the planet.

During Slow Food’s international event on sustainable food systems, Terra Madre, that took place last September in Turin, Alice Poiron interviewed three remarkable speakers to shed light on the complex relationship between food and health, and on which policy solutions exist to reconcile them, in a world where industrial, polluting farming is the norm, not the exception. Our guests in this episode:

Also available on Apple Podcast.

July 2022

The Global Food Crisis Explained

Since the war in Ukraine broke out, the words “food security” and “food crisis” are on everyone’s lips. The conflict has had rippling effects on millions of people’s lives, with President Putin holding the specter of hunger over their head. Ukraine and Russia being such big producers and exporters of grain, elsewhere concerns are indeed mounting over potential food shortages. Meanwhile, the conflict has sent global food prices skyrocketing, which are hitting the poorest populations the hardest.

To cope with this crisis, some in Europe have suggested to lower environmental standards in agriculture in favour of increasing food production. Others like Slow Food, warn that this is a mistake, because environmental protection is key to ensure sustainable food security in the long run.

We hear many things about this food crisis, and this is a complex topic to grasp. How does it impact Europe and the world? How can we feed the world without the Ukrainian crops? Do we really need to produce more food while other farming alternatives are just waiting to be scaled up? We take a step back and untangle these complex issues with our guests:

  • Nick Jacobs, director of IPES Food (the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems)
  • Nathalie Bolduc, researcher at IDDRI (Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations)
  • David Peacock, Slow Food farmer in Germany

Also available on Apple Podcast.

June 2022

The Paradoxes of Animal Welfare in Europe

The protection of animal welfare on farms has gained momentum in recent years in Europe, with more and more EU citizens calling for the end of their cruel exploitation. And this is with good reason, for farm animals are considered as mere profit machines.

Yet, it is said that the European Union has the most advanced legislation in the world regarding animal welfare standards. So why such a gap between the European law and farming practices on the ground? How bad is the state of animal welfare in Europe, and what is being done at the EU level to right such wrongs? Also, what alternatives are there to industrial animal farming? In this episode, we tell you the story of the many paradoxes of animal welfare in Europe with our guests:

  • Jacopo Goracci, farmer of local ancient breeds of cows and pigs in rural Tuscany (Italy) and coordinator of a Slow Food presidium
  • Andrea Gavinelli, who is in charge of the animal welfare unit at the EU Commission
  • Olga Kikou, European Affairs Manager at the organization Compassion in World Farming

Also available on Apple Podcast.

December 2021

A Conversation with Young Food Activists

Mid-December, members of the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN) in Europe and students at the Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Science (UNISG) gathered in Bra, in northern Italy. It was a great opportunity for us to sit down with a few of them and discuss about their views on political activism, their desire to see a sustainable food system happening in Europe and beyond, and their relationship to the European Union.

  • Jorrit, president of SFYN
  • Mallory, American student at the Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Science (UNISG)
  • Paolo, member of SFYN in Sardegna
  • Lianne, president of SFYN Netherlands

Also available on Apple Podcast.

November 2021

COP26: What’s on the Menu for Food and Farming?

Let’s talk about climate! Now that the COP26 is behind us and that dust has settled, let’s take a step back! Was the COP26 a success? What was decided about food and farming? Where does the EU stand in all this, and what is the EU’s way forward on climate change ? We answer all these questions with our three guests:

Also available on Apple Podcast.

October 2021

EU Farm to Fork Strategy: Science, Civil Society and the Planet over Corporate Interests.

In this episode, our guests talk about the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and what has happened since its publication in May 2020. They shed light on the intense lobbying that the agro-chemical industry has been doing to try to weaken the Strategy, and how you, as European citizens, can influence food policy; one example being the recently-successful European Citizens Initiative “Save bees and farmers”. This episode’s speakers:

Also available on Apple Podcast.

May 2021

What’s Going on with New GMOs?

What are new GMOs? How do they differ from old GMOs? What are the EU latest developments on the matter? We asked three experts to answer these questions and many more:

  • Elisa D’Aloisio, peasant farmer at the European Coordination Via Campesina with a PhD in genetics and practical expertise in GMOs
  • Martin Sommer, policy coordinator at IFOAM Organics Europe, the association for organic food and farming in Europe
  • Madeleine Coste, Policy Officer at Slow Food Europe

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