Slow Food in Lebanon

The founder and President of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, will present his book – Good, Clean and Fair – in Beirut, at libraire Antoine, on November 9th (6pm, Independence Street (Elias Sarkis Avenue), Beirut) in the presence of the Italian Ambassador to Lebanon, Massimo Marotti.

This event aims to promote one of the most original non profit organisations focused on food, agriculture and biodiversity to have appeared in recent decades, by engaging the Lebanese public in a fruitful dialogue about key idea like sustainability, respect for local traditions, the promotion of small businesses and traditional farming. Slow Food grew out of a reaction to fast food culture and those aspects of globalization that jeopardize local produce and regional culinary traditions, and soon moved beyond this. As the title of Petrini’s book suggests, food sustainability requires a complex balance between social and economic fairness, love for the ecosystem and the environment, and respect for local gastronomic cultures.

Ten years after its first publication, “Good Clean and Fair” remains a powerful manifesto elaborating a new definition of gastronomy, one that places at its centre the defence of food and agro-biodiversity, and that helped Slow Food gaining recognition as a leading actor in the debate around food, agriculture, and sustainability.

This will be Petrini’s first time in Lebanon, and it will be a unique opportunity for him to visit the weekly Earth Market run by Slow Food Beirut in Hamra, where since 2009 consumers have the chance to directly purchase local and seasonal products directly from small-scale artisan food producers.

During his stay, Slow Food President will also take the opportunity to visit one of the Syrian refugee camps in the Beqaa valley, to witness the hardship and consequences of one of the greatest tragedies of our time, and to reaffirm Slow Food’s commitment towards migrants and refugees – as the recent book “Soup for Syria” published by Slow Food Beirut leader – Barbara Massaad – and fundraising for UNHCR, testify.

Founded in Italy in 1986, Slow Food is a grassroots movement involving over one million people worldwide, that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them; good for those who grow it and good for the planet. (www.slowfood.com)

Slow Food is well rooted in Lebanon. Its local branch Slow Food Beirut – headed by photographer and writer Barbara Massaad, runs a weekly farmers’ market which is part of Slow Food’s Earth Market network. Slow Food is at the forefront in the defense of Lebanese food biodiversity, with over 15 products registered in the Ark of Taste (Slow Food’s catalogue of food products that are facing extinctions) and two Slow Food Presidia (Slow Food project that help producers safeguarding their endangered food products), namely Jabal ‘Amel Freekeh and Kechek el Fouqara.

Everyone can support Slow Food’s work in defense of food biodiversity around the world http://donate.slowfood.com/en/

Beirut’s branch is headed by Barbara Massad, with whom the Italian Cultural Institute has organized Petrini’s visit to Lebanon.

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:

[email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285, [email protected]

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.  Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

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