EXCLUSIVE: European Parliament members with an interest in eco-gastronomy launched the institution’s first Slow Food convivium today. Since the movement’s themes are highly topical on the current European political agenda, the new convivium wishes to become an active force in strengthening the argument that environmental protection is essential to quality gastronomy —and that it must be a central consideration in decisions regarding agricultural and food production systems.
Slow Food president Carlo Petrini attended the official inauguration of the convivium in Brussels with the founding parliamentarians: Marie-Hélène Aubert (France), Jean Lambert (United Kingdom), Monica Frassoni (Italy), Vincenzo Aita (Italy), Carl Schlyter (Switzerland) and Csaba Sàndor (Hungary).
Petrini also spoke to the parliament on the question of GMOs, raising concerns of potential negative consequences of their introduction to European agriculture. He argued that European institutions should instead be committed to working for the protection of biodiversity and the maintenance of typical regional food production.
A delegation of students from the Italian University of Gastronomic Sciences, representing ten EU nations, accompanied Petrini in a presented of Terra Madre 2008 – the third edition of this world meeting of food communities, to be held in Turin October 23-27. This year a youth delegation made up of hundreds of students and young farmers will join food communities, cooks, academics and researchers coming from 150 countries around the world.
The Slow Food delegation conclude visit to Brussels tomorrow with a public conference entitled Bon, proper et juste – Une èthique, gastronomique au service de la souveraineté alimentare, organized by the Belgian convivium. Carlo Petrini will present the Slow Food philosophy and discuss the concept of good, clean and fair food.