The American Angle: Slow Food USA is Coming to Italy for Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

30 Jul 2018 | English

A large delegation of over 200 people from the USA is set to take part in the most important international event dedicated to food culture.

Organized by Slow Food in collaboration with the Region of Piedmont and the City of Turin, the 12th edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto will be held from September 20 to 24, 2018, in Turin, Italy. Over 5,000 delegates from 140 countries, over 800 exhibitors, 300 Slow Food Presidia, and 500 Terra Madre food communities are taking part in the event.

Meet the Delegates from the USA

Slow Food USA delegation consists of family farmers, producers, academics, chefs, activists in the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN), students, writers, ranchers, and about 35 representatives of indigenous communities in the Slow Food Turtle Island network from both the USA and Canada. The latter will be involved in the Terra Madre Arena, one of the novelties of this edition, where the Indigenous Terra Madre network will highlight the urgent need to promote and protect the food-production systems of these populations, valuing their holistic approach and strengthening the ties with the entire Slow Food movement. Here are some highlights from the USA delegation:

Ben Burkett – Farmer, Mississipi Association of Cooperatives, Mississipi

Mr. Burkett has been active in farming since 1970 and he is currently involved in farming operation of over 250acres, that includes of vegetable production, beef cattle, and timber. He has studied Cooperative Development and is presently serving on several boards related to agriculture.

Eden Olsen – Owner and Farmer, Lucky Crow Farm, Oregon

Eden was born and raised in the Willamette Valley. After studying sustainable agriculture and food policy in school, she managed farmers’ markets in the Bay Area and farmed in California, Washington, and abroad. Driven to provide high-quality, delicious and healthy food for her community, she started Lucky Crow Farm in 2017 and is overjoyed to be back home.

Kris De La Torre – Coordinator, Chicago Botanic Garden, Illinois

Kris coordinates a rooftop youth farm in Chicago that runs classes for teens and adults. She joined the Windy City Harvest in 2016, bringing experience in non-profit communications, advocacy in food equity, youth education and sustainable farming. She is passionate about helping others make connections between their food, the environment, our local communities and individual wellness.

Among the influential figures who have confirmed their presence so far are:

  • Alice Waters: chef, entrepreneur and activist, vice-president of Slow Food and pioneer of the organic food movement in the United States. In 1996 she launched the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, California, a school garden initiative that today involves over 5,000 schools in the U.S. and 64 countries around the world.
  • Barry Lynn: journalist, writer, and executive director of the Open Market Institute. Previously, he spent 15 years at the New America Foundation researching and writing about monopoly power and globalization for such publications, ranging from The Financial Times and Forbes to Mother Jones and the Harvard Business Review.
  • John E. Ikerd: a visionary scholar and author who writes and speaks on issues related to sustainability with an emphasis on economics and agriculture. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Agricultural & Applied Economics at the University of Missouri in 2000. Since then, John has written six books on sustainable agriculture and sustainable economics.
  • Sandor Katz: often known as “Sandorkraut”, he is the global fermentation guru. The New York Times defines him as “a charismatic, consciousness-raising thinker and advocate who wants people to see the world in a new way”. His book Wild Fermentation (2003) has been called a classic, and was recently republished in Italian by Slow Food Editore.

Speaking about Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, Richard McCarthy, member of the Slow Food International Executive Committee, said: « I am extremely proud to be part of the international network that is Slow Food, and to represent a delegation that will take part in Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018. Food for change is the theme of this 12th edition and I am sure that, through exchange and dialogue with people who differ in culture, language, and customs, every one of us will return home richer and with new enthusiasm for pursuing our activities and striving for a better future for our planet. »

Slow Meat: Hear the Voices of the USA

In a country where every citizen consumes about 125 kilos of meat annually, Slow Meat is one of the central campaigns for Slow Food USA: it encourages consumers to eat less meat, of better quality. During Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018, there will be many events related to the theme of slow meat in which participants will discuss how to change the unsustainable model of industrial animal agriculture that currently floods the market with cheap meat while exploiting producers, animals, and the environment.

To achieve this goal, Slow Food USA has participated to the Meatless Monday campaign, on the wake of the global movement, now active in over 40 countries. Designed to celebrate the flavor of plant-based foods and to raise public awareness in order to reduce meat consumptions, this campaign will be presented to the public during the Terra Madre Forum Eat Less Meat, of Better Quality (September 23 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere). Moreover, in the Taste Workshop United Stated: The Power of Plants Plus Creativity – Meatless Monday (September 24 at 1:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) delegates from the Slow Food USA network will demonstrate how enjoyable this renunciation of meat actually is. During the Terra Madre Forum Climate Friendly Farming (September 22 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) a Meatless Monday organizer will present their method for measuring the impact of meat establishments and, together with other delegates, will address the question of whether climate-friendly animal farming is possible.

The Terra Madre Forum Quality Farming: Chickens (September 20 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) will host Donna Simons, manager of Pound Ridge Organics and chair of her local Slow Food chapter. The chickens that we buy in supermarkets are intensively raised, grown rapidly and slaughtered at 35-60 days of age, while free-range chickens must be at least 4 months old before slaughter. Donna will present her project to the public, along with other farmers from the Slow Food network.

The Navajo-Churro (Slow Food Presidium) is a sheep breed introduced to Mexico by the Spanish in 1540. Since then, it has spread across the Southern United States. Presidium producer Roy Kady will take part in the Taste Workshop United States: the Hardy Navajo-Churro Sheep – From Nose to Tail (September 21 at 2:30 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) to introduce this breed to the public. The fragrant meat of these rustic sheep tastes of aromatic herbs, that recall the territory in which they were raised. Roy will be accompanied by his apprentice Jackie Frank and the indigenous chef Brian Yazzie who will prepare a tasting.

Slow Food USA is not only meat (less):

This year, the beating heart of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto will be the #foodforchange thematic areas: Slow Food has identified five major themes (one of which is Slow Meat, and the others are Slow Fish, Seeds, Food and Health, and Bees and Insects) on which it is working diligently, with a positive and inclusive approach. Other events involving delegates from the United States will take place in these dedicated areas.

Within the Food and Health area, Denisa Livingston will join the Terra Madre Forum Sugar Tax and Slow Snacks: How We Can Fight Junk Food (September 23 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) contributing to the discussion by highlighting the case of the junk-food tax imposed by the Navajo Nation (USA) to fight foods that lack nutritional values.

Within the Bees and Insects area, David George Gordon, also known as The Bug Chef and award-winning author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, The Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual, and 18 other titles, will join the Terra Madre Forum Butterflies In Your Stomach: Innovative Recipes and Insect Farming Start Ups (September 23 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere).

Within the thematic area dedicated to Seeds, three Terra Madre Forums will involve the United States:

Banks, Libraries, and Granaries: Where Seeds Are Conserved (September 22 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) during which Jeff Quattrone, member of the North East Ark of Taste Regional Committee and founder of the Library Seed Bank in 2014, will introduce the theme of community seed banks. In the USA, there are over 600 seed libraries, which aim to disseminate seeds to the public to preserve the plant varieties through sharing.

School Gardens (September 21 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) during which Tristana Pirkl, grant programs manager at Whole Kids Foundation, will present the Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit which has been developed in partnership with Slow Food USA to help school district food services safely bring school garden produce onto the lunch line.

Cultivating Cities (September 22 at 4:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) during which Marilyn Barber, from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit, will present her experience in urban agriculture: the city garden represents a new perspective on the environment, the landscape, and social relations.

As part of Terra Madre In, the Scratch Brewing Company, a Southern Illinois microbrewery and farm that creates many of their beers from items foraged on their property and by using Ark of Taste products, will join the Taste Workshop Foraging for Beer (September 23 at 12:00 a.m. – Torino, Palazzo Giunta Regionale). The public will taste these and other beers, guided by Andrea Pieroni, new rector of the University of Gastronomic Sciences and ethnobotanist of international fame.

On September 22, Slow Food Nations 2019 will be announced during an aperitivo featuring the food prepared by James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Jen Jasinski.

Taste Workshops and Cooking Schools are paid events and can be purchased online; the Terra Madre thematic Forums are presented by delegates of the network and are open to the public as long as seats are available. Click here for the list of available events, which is constantly updated.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 Press Office

Slow Food, +39 329 83 212 85 [email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

Region of Piedmont, +39 011 432 2549 – [email protected]

City of Turin, +39 011 011 21976 – +39 342 1100131 – [email protected]

To request press accreditation, please click here.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is an event organized by the City of Turin, Slow Food, and the Region of Piedmont in collaboration with MIPAAF (Italy’s Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies). It has been made possible thanks to its many sponsors, including the Official Partners, GLEvents-Lingotto Fiere, IREN, Lavazza, Lurisia, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino and Quality Beer Academy; with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT-Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Associazione delle Fondazioni di Origine Bancaria del Piemonte, and Coldiretti; and with the contribution of IFAD, the European Union, and CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori).

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.

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