On December 10, 2013, the international Slow Food network will organize events around the world to celebrate local food on occasion of the fifth Terra Madre Day. Held every year since 2009, the day is an important opportunity for all those who believe in the Slow Food philosophy to promote a sustainable alternative food system to their communities and local decision makers.
In 2012, almost 160,000 people in 130 countries across five continents participated with in the celebration, organizing meetings and debates, picnics and dinners, film screenings, farm visits and much more. Slow Food convivia, Terra Madre food communities, chefs, academics, youth, school garden projects, Presidia and Ark of Taste producers are all key organizers of Terra Madre Day, although anyone is welcome to participate or organize an activity. Events take place in cities and rural areas, schools and community centers, cinemas, farms, restaurants and in people’s homes.
Below is a short description of a few of this year’s planned events around the world:
USA, New Orleans. Slow Wine and Ark of Taste Food truck: Slow Food New Orleans organizes an event that will feature italian wines from Slow Food’s “Slow Wine” guide as well as the Fat Falafel Food Truck, recently named by Zagat as one of the top 10 must-taste food trucks in the US. To mark Terra Madre day, the food truck will prepare a dish featuring an Ark product.
Also in the US, Slow Food Olympia in Washington State plans a Slow Fish Cooking Class featuring recipes that put the spotlight on locally sourced and sustainably fished seafood, to recognize Terra Madre Day and the burgeoning Slow Fish movement.
Mexico, Santiago de Querétaro. 2a Reunión de Decrecimiento: The El Bajío-Querétaro Convivium and the Asociación de Rescate de Tradiciones Gastronómicas organize a conference program about how to defend the environment. A two-day program will show producers, chefs, academics and students how to celebrate biodiversity by learning and creating a revolution of ideas.
Germany, Mulfingen. Traditional Dishes from the Hohenlohe Region: This event takes place in a school where two traditional wintry dishes made of local ingredients from the Hohenlohe region will be served during a convivial lunch among teachers and students.
Romania, Turda. Cultural Attachment to our Childhood Recipes: Slow Food Cluj Transilvania organizes this event to honor traditional recipes and remember childhood dishes such as biscuiţi şpriţaţi. During the event, a survey about our cultural attachment to food will be carried out to strengthen understanding of this relationship.
Albania, Shkoder. Celebrating Forest Products from the Balkan Countries: This event includes a food exhibition and degustation focused on distinct forest and pasture products, and varieties from the Balkan region (Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Republika Srpska and different regions of Albania).
South Korea, Seoul. Celebrating Kimchi Diversity: Organized by Slow Food Youth Network in Korea, Slow Food Seoul will host the event “Kimchi Diversity”. Participants will be invited to share and exchange Kimchi recipes to revive interest in this traditional dish and increase awareness of the diversity of recipes and local variations that still exist, especially in view of increasingly hectic lifestyles that are putting this dish at risk of being forgotten and substituted by industrial Kimchi.
Tanzania, Dar es Salaam Region. Eat Local – Improve Nutrition: Five communities involved in the Slow Food “Thousand Gardens in Africa” project will prepare local foods, mainly with products from their own vegetable gardens. As part of the event, three primary schools involved in the project will harvest produce from their gardens to discuss food values and cook and eat with their teachers. The Ark of Taste will also be the theme of various farmers markets. In addition, the participants will nominate different yams and Kimanshigha indigenous vegetables for the Ark of Taste catalog.
Australia, Broome (Western Australia). Pindan Walnut Feast Day: Babagarra Aboriginal Incorporated organizes a Pindan Walnut Feast to celebrate Terra Madre Day. The organization will host an evening meal to celebrate the importance of Aboriginal women in securing food sovereignty, and their role in caring for their families and environment whilst continuing their age-old traditions of harvesting wild food plants such as the Pindan Walnut. The walnut was recently added to the Ark of Taste.
Venezuela, Mérida. 2do Eco Festival de la Papa Nativa: From December 10-14, the second Eco Festival dedicated to the native potato will take place to promote the reintegration of autochthonous potato varieties into the daily diet of the Venezuelan people. Through moments of education and tasting, the event aims to illustrate the important role of preserving and reviving native varieties for gaining and securing food sovereignty, and bringing healthy and culturally important food back to the tables of Venezuelans.
The focus of Terra Madre Day 2013 is saving endangered foods. Factors including the industrialization of agriculture and increasingly hectic lifestyles are putting many traditional foods in danger: fruits, vegetables, animal breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and cured meats all risk disappearing within a few generations. Slow Food works to select and document as many of these products as possible by adding them to the Ark of Taste catalog. Terra Madre Day is an important opportunity to describe and nominate new products, and to promote already existing Ark ‘passengers’, along with the knowledge, traditions, cultures and territories that they belong to.
The Terra Madre network was launched by Slow Food to give visibility to the small-scale farmers, breeders, fishers and food artisans around the world whose approach to food production protects the environment and communities. The network brings them together with academics, chefs, consumers and youth in 150 countries so that they can join forces in working to improve the food system. Terra Madre represents positive globalization and gives a voice to those who refuse to surrender to an industrial approach to agriculture and the standardization of food cultures. The food communities together declare that food production must be in a harmonious relationship with the environment and affirm the cultural and scientific dignity of traditional practices.
Click here to view the events already registered across the world for 2013.