Carlo Petrini at the University of New Hampshire

16 May 2006 | English

On May 20, in the course of its commencement ceremony, the University of New Hampshire will present Carlo Petrini, Slow Food president and founder, with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his career and accomplishments.

The highlight of Petrini’s three-day visit will be his lecture on the work of Slow Food International (4 pm, May 18, Memorial Union Building of the University). The session will be free and open to the public, and the audience will include students and faculty researchers as well as New England chefs and producers involved in sustainable agriculture and Slow Food members and leaders from the region.

Local biodiversity, small-scale food production and farming heritage are central to the Slow Food philosophy. The University of New Hampshire’s commitment to these issues is evident throughout its curriculum, operations and research. It is the first land-grant university in the US with an organic research dairy and its Local Harvest Initiative, Organic Gardening Club and New Hampshire Farm to School Program are geared towards promoting sustainability.

Petrini’s visit to the University of New Hampshire marks an important step in the collaboration between Slow Food and US higher education establishments. 40 US university professors have already ensured their participation at Terra Madre, the biennial global meeting of food communities to be held in Turin on October 26-30 in conjunction with the Salone del Gusto, Slow Food’s gastronomic fair of small-scale artisan products.

The first edition of Terra Madre in 2004 brought together producers and others involved in agriculture and food activities from all round the world. They represented an alternative and complex way of understanding quality food in line with environmental resources, global equilibria, the sensory characteristics of food, the dignity of workers and the health of consumers. Terra Madre 2006 will focus on reconciling traditional knowledge with science and academia and will involve chefs and universities as well as farmers and food producers.

Born in Bra, Italy, in 1949, Carlo Petrini is the founder and president of the International Slow Food Movement and has played a decisive role in its development, inventing and promoting its projects in the fields of food, agriculture and eco-gastronomy (a neologism he coined himself) and creating the first University of Gastronomic Sciences in the world. His latest book, Buono, pulito e giusto. Principi di una nuova gastronomia (Good, Clean and Fair. Principles of a New Gastronomy), was published in 2005.

Slow Food USA has eleven convivia (chapters) in the New England region, located in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine. Currently there are over 1,000 members in New England who are involved in Slow Food programs and activities in their communities. The active New England region is part of a larger network of 14,000 Slow Food members across the country.

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