The Slow Food Area at Expo 2015: Putting Biodiversity and the People who Feed the Planet in the Spotlight

29 Apr 2015 | English

Slow Food inaugurates Expo, focusing on the right to work and to land

In the heart of the Slow Food Pavilion at Expo 2015 there will be the Slow Food Theater, an open space for meeting and exchange, which will give a voice to those women and men who today feed the planet with good, clean and fair food.

The daily schedule of events that will take place in the Theater include talks, debates, conferences, presentations and film and documentary screenings, part of a calendar full of activities aimed to tell the stories and experiences of the Slow Food network and Terra Madre food communities, but also of civil society representatives and people who share the Slow Food philosophy.

On May 1, 2015, Gaetano Pascale, president of Slow Food Italy, will open the Slow Food area, explaining the reasons for our presence at the universal exposition. At 12 pm, in celebration of International Workers’ Day, Yvan Sagnet, trade unionist of the Federation of Agro-Industrial Workers, originally from Cameroon, will focus on the phenomenon of the denial of rights and the use of threats and intimidation in agriculture (the so-called ‘caporalato’). Then, at 3 pm Fabio Terribile, President of the Italian Society of Pedology will talk about the importance of fertile soil and the right to land.

On May 19 the Slow Food Pavilion will be officially inaugurated in the presence of Slow Food International president Carlo Petrini and Swiss architect Jacques Herzog.

In the following weeks Expo will be a platform for Slow Food, a space for discussion and critical reflection in an attempt to find concrete solutions for the future.

At Terra Madre Youth – the event which from October 3 to 6 will bring young farmers, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and students from all over the world to Milan – the Slow Food Theater will regularly host young men and women working in food production, who will talk about their experience, hopes and expectations for the future.

Every morning at 11 am, workshops and educational activities will be held in the Slow Food Theater. These activities, targeted to school groups and families, will revolve around some of Slow Food’s main themes, such as bees, water and the fight against food waste.

Inside the Slow Food area there will be also a space dedicated to the discovery of the diversity of wine and raw-milk cheeses. The world of cheeses offers the perfect example of how plant and animal biodiversity is articulated when transformed into food. From just three simple ingredients—milk, rennet and salt—an extraordinary diversity has resulted, with over 2,000 traditional cheeses made around the world

There will be a tasting of a different selection of four types of cheese every week: one world-famous Italian cheese; two cheeses from a specific territory, generally Slow Food Presidia; and an international specialty. During May, visitors will taste, among others, Bitto from the Orobiche Valleys in Italy, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester from the UK, and Cilento Cacioricotta and Osilo Pecorino from the island of Sardinia in Italy. A total of 84 types of cheese will be on rotation throughout the six months of Expo.

Next to the Slow Cheese area, the Slow Wine Enoteca will be telling another fascinating story of biodiversity. In Italy alone, over 600 grape varieties are still used to make wine, from Nebbiolo to Sangiovese, Perricone and Fiano. The selection of wines, curated by the Wine Bank in Pollenzo (Piedmont), will offer drinkable proof of this wide diversity, with about 200 different wines available on rotation.

Moreover, several short movies and documentaries, coming from all over the world and dedicated to Slow Food themes and issues, will be screened every day to shed light on small communities of food artisans who work in order to create an alternative to the globalized food system. In particular, Ermanno Olmi’s film, The Planet that Hosts Us, will be projected in the Theater every evening at 8 pm, for the entire duration of Expo. Slow Food wants to put the work of this great director at the end of each day to symbolically close the activities with a deep reflection.

The structures of the Slow Food area, built from PEFC-certified larch wood from sustainably managed forests and designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, will host the exhibition Discover Biodiversity, the tastings areas of Slow Cheese and Slow Wine, the association space and the Slow Food Editore bookshop. At the center of the area there is also the Slow Food Garden, with 47 species of medicinal plants, vegetables, legumes and other species, each one with a specific role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem.

Finally, a new app has been launched, Slow Food Planet, a useful instrument for travelers. The Milan area is now mapped for all those visitors who want to enjoy their stay in the city and surrounding areas with Slow Food recommendations. The app suggests restaurants, locals, farmers’ markets and shops, where you can meet local producers. Slow Food Planet wants to offer a holistic vision of the gastronomic experience, giving different suggestions depending on the time of day or season of the year. The dictionary is also a helpful feature, which gives definitions of terms in the dialect of local areas, to increase access to the food cultures of the world.

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:

Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected]

Slow Food involves over a million of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in over 150 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and over 2,500 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.









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