A contribution of ideas, suggestions, and reflections from the global Slow Food network that feeds into the debate on World Food Day
The ongoing health crisis has refocused everyone’s attention to the central role of food and the importance of the food chain, in all countries around the world. On World Food Day, it is necessary more than ever to think about the food system, food production, food distribution, and methods of consumption – globally, and also individually.
This reflection is absolutely necessary, in view of the scale of the health, environmental, economic, social, and, specifically, food emergency. But Covid-19 can, and must, be an extraordinary opportunity to open our eyes and find solutions: to the climate and environmental crisis; to the economic crisis caused by a development model based on unsustainable, endless growth; to social injustice and to unequal distribution of wealth; to large sections of the population being denied their fundamental rights; to the migrant crisis, and so on.
Nourishing the Terra Madre network around the world, by bringing together delegates, members, and activists around the most important Slow Food projects, and maintaining a high level of public awareness around these issues is the objective of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in the time of Covid.
For a week, the Slow Food network has been engaged in the discussion, through successive online events that will remain available for viewing for six months on the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020 platform. To access all the content published up to now, you need to register here, or if you are already accredited, go to the Press section of the site.
The first few days after the start of the event confirmed that the intuition of the organizers – Slow Food, the Piedmont Region, and the City of Turin – who accepted the challenge of holding an event that has been revolutionized in terms of times, locations, and formats, was right.
One of the most significant contributions published in the last few days is the video talk by Fritijof Capra, an Austrian physicist, economist, and writer, who opened the Food Talks series with an analysis of Covid-19:
“The coronavirus must be seen as a biological response of Gaia, our living planet, to the ecological and social emergency that humanity has brought upon itself. It arose from an ecological imbalance and it has dramatic consequences because of social and economic imbalances. […] Ethical behavior, which means behavior for the common good, becomes an issue of life and death in a pandemic. Because a pandemic like Covid-19 can only be overcome by collective, cooperative actions.”
There has been no shortage of stories and suggestions from the Slow Food network: “I live in India, I work in India and in my world, we can see the impact of climate change happening in our lives. It is affecting the poorest, it is affecting the most marginalized. Let’s be very clear: if the poor are the victims of climate change today, the rich will also be victims of climate change tomorrow,” pointed out Sunita Narain, an Indian environmentalist and activist, and Director General of the Center for Science and Environment, who participated in the Asian episode of the global relay.
“We have to urgently rethink this model of society because everyone agrees that the best, the most nutritious dish is the one that’s rich in variety and color. But the same logic isn’t applied on a social level. And we are afraid of monoculture. And “monoculturalization”. Because any type of monoculture kills,” stressed Célia Xakriabá, indigenous leader of the Xakriabá people, speaking from Brazil in the South American episode.
“Since the beginning of civilization, food has always been thought of as precious, and, all of a sudden, it’s not anymore. Now we think food should be cheap and it should be easy to eat. And so this is the starting point of our Slow Food revolution, food that regains value and is built on the values of stewardship, nourishment, equality, and diversity. There’s no better place than the public school system,” said Alice Waters, a North American cook, and author, and a food education activist, during the North American episode.
But the Terra Madre journey goes on. In addition to online events, many physical events will take place around the world. To find out more, click here.
These are not to be missed in the coming days on the platform:
Meet the producers of Salamanca (Chile) on October 14 at 6 pm – CEST. Meeting with the agroecological producers of Salamanca, their products, and their ancestral recipes, organized by the Slow Food Community Mercado de la Tierra de Salamanca.
Locavore seminar, October 15 at 6 pm – CEST, in Paris, France. Within the framework of the Master of Geography in “Food and food cultures” of the Sorbonne University, students organize seminars with guest speakers. In this specific case, it is a discussion on the localist movement and Slow Food’s approach to the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of gastronomic heritage.
20 years in the name of biodiversity, October 17 at 11 am – CEST. The Slow Food Presidia celebrate an important achievement. The importance of biodiversity has finally been recognized by major international institutions not just in terms of ecosystems, but also regarding our own diet. Slow Food has been saying this for 20 years and working to protect biodiversity by supporting the producers’ communities that safeguard it every day.
On October 24 at 9 am – CEST, the members of the Indigenous Terra Madre network and the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus discuss in a Forum: Covid-19 is the latest threat to the survival of indigenous peoples.
Rivers connect the world – land creators: the Mississippi and Mekong. In this Forum, on October 25 at 4 pm – CEST, delegates from the US and Vietnam will talk about how these muddy river deltas created biodiverse ecosystems that are home to two of the world’s largest fisheries and migratory fly routes. The incredible abundance of these coastal regions has given rise to world-famous cuisines that are surprisingly similar. However, the fragile coastal wetlands of Louisiana and Vietnam are now two of the world’s most rapidly disappearing regions due to climate change and industrialization.
On October 27, at 3 pm CEST, a public debate will take place on Market Cities: How public markets — the original incubator — can pump life into regional food economies and forge social cohesion. The concept is this: as municipalities become increasingly important for regional food systems to flourish, public markets are uniquely positioned to play positive roles if they are supported. Market watchers have identified seven key indicators of healthy market systems.
For more information:
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020 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.