First event on the sustainability, tradition and future of rice to be held in Wenzhou, China and on the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020 online platform between November 27 and 29
The first edition of Slow Rice, organized by the Wenzhou Slow Food Community for the Enhancement of the Territory, will be held physically in Wenzhou, in the village of Qidu Qiansha, in collaboration with many leading local authorities and associations.
The Wenzhou Community was China’s first Slow Food Community and it was founded with the aim of encouraging research into more sustainable lifestyles for the local population and protecting and promoting Wenzhou’s food culture and traditions, local food biodiversity, traditional food production methods from cultivation to cooking, ideals of social justice and equity, care for the environment and access to good, clean and fair food for all.
The event will be the first project organized by the Wenzhou Slow Food Community in Qidu Qiansha; the hope is to turn the village into a center for gastronomic culture, revitalizing the rural fabric and developing rural tourism.
Slow Rice wants to raise awareness among the public about the ongoing impoverishment of agricultural biodiversity. Today 60% of the world’s diet is based on just three cereals—wheat, rice and corn—and not the thousands of varieties of rice selected by farmers and once grown across India and China, nor the thousands of varieties of corn cultivated in Mexico. All the same, rice plantations remain an extremely rich reservoir of biological diversity, and agriculture in China has thousands of years of history characterized by ecological practices. Before widespread modernization, for centuries this immense country with an abundance of gastronomic heritage produced food for its large population without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Slow Food has long been fighting to defend biodiversity. To preserve this wealth, it started the Ark of Taste, which catalogs and describes plant varieties, animal breeds and food products that belong to the culture, history and traditions of communities around the world at risk of extinction. All of China’s 86 Ark of Taste products can be found here, nine of which are unusual rice varieties or traditional foods made with rice.
The first international festival dedicated to “slow” rice will feature three days packed with events around the theme. On November 27, Slow Food will hold an online Terra Madre Forum on rice, while on November 28 and 29 other physical activities will be held in Qiansha village, Qidu, Lucheng and Wenzhou.
Here is the detailed Slow Rice program:
Online Forum in two time slots: Delegates and experts from the Slow Food network around the world will be discussing rice on the Terra Madre platform. The most consumed cereal grain is the staple food for around half the world’s population. What impact does intensive rice cultivation have on our planet? Can rice ever be grown sustainably? What good agricultural practices can make rice growing more sustainable? These are some of the questions that the panel will seek to answer.
- 9-9.30 am: Opening ceremony of the Slow Rice festival with video greetings from Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food.
- 9.30-10 am: Slow Market. Inauguration of the Slow Rice market.
- 10-11 am: Education activities on sustainability and food waste for children and their families.
- 11 am-12 noon: Slow Rice workshops. Tastings of fried rice noodles, freshly baked rice cakes and other traditional foods prepared on site.
- 12 noon-2 pm: Slow sporting activities.
- 2-2.30 pm: Main forum (Good Rice, Good Food, Good Life) with discussion on sustainable development from rice field to table.
- 2.30-3 pm: Slow Nostalgia. Opening of the exhibition “Old Food Stamps” in the center of Wulitian. The objective is to inspire reflections about food nostalgia and flavors linked to the past, back when food was more wholesome and people had a deeper connection to food in their everyday life.
- 3-3.30 pm: Slow Poetry. Opening of the exhibition “Slow Rice Poems” with readings of poems from China and beyond dedicated to the two key themes of the day, rice and slowness, with the involvement of the public in writing new compositions.
- 3.30-4 pm: Slow Talk. Opening of the exhibition “Slow Rice Books” with the Wuliang bookshop selecting Chinese and international books on traditional cooking, food culture and the Slow Food movement. Discussions open to the public on Slow Food concepts.
- 4-5 pm: Slow Time. Tasting of rice dishes and a chance to relax with a coffee, read a book or simply admire the sunset.
- The market will expand with other producers who will take over 16 courtyards along Qidu’s main street, with a kitchen set up for the preparation of different recipes from the Ou tradition. Here cooks from the Wenzhou Slow Food Alliance will show off their skills with the wok, cooking dishes with rice and rice noodles as well as other typical local street foods.
- Exhibitions of porcelain bowls and rice sculptures will be open to the public, as will a stage for propitiatory dances traditionally performed in the rice paddies to encourage a good harvest, all organized by young local artists.
The physical events listed above will respect all Covid-19 health regulations.
The event is organized by the City of Wenzhou,the Qidu and Lucheng districts, the Wenzhou Slow Food Community for the Enhancement of the Territory, the Office for the Development of Tourism and Culture, the Zhejiang Zhengcheng group for the development of culture, the Lucheng Municipal Cooperative for Supply and Marketing, the Office for Agriculture and Rural Areas, Wenzhou Mingcheng, the Wenzhou Vocational College of Science and Technology, the Traditional Ou Cuisine Association, Wenzhou Wuliu Culture Media, the Zhejiang National Technology Internet group, the Wenzhou Vegetable Basket group, the Wenzhou Remaining association, the radio and television of the Zhejiang New Blue Net Wenzhou Channel, Zhejiang Daily Wenzhou branch and the High Temperature Youth association.
For more informations:
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto Press Office
Slow Food: [email protected] – Paola Nano, Gioia Baggio (+39 329 8321285)
City of Turin: [email protected] – Luisa Cicero (+39 011 01121932)
Piedmont Region: [email protected] – Donatella Actis (+39 011 4322549)
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is the most important event dedicated to good, clean and fair food and small-scale agriculture in the world. It is organized by Slow Food, the City of Turin and the Region of Piedmont in cooperation with MIPAAF (the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies) and MATTM (the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection). Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020 is made possible thanks to the support of businesses that believe in the projects. Among them, we’d like to thank our Platinum Partners: Pastificio Di Martino, Unicredit, Lavazza, Acqua S.Bernardo, Quality Beer Academy; our Gold Partners: Agugiaro&Figna, Astoria, BBBell. With the support of Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Associazione delle fondazioni di origine bancaria del Piemonte. With the contribution of IFAD and the EU. In collaboration with SANA and Turismo Torino e Provincia.