Marta Pozsonyi is a passionate food activist. Leader of Slow Food Turda, she believes in food education, especially for young people. Even during times of COVID-19 Marta felt she was responsible to find ways to continue the work.
I am Marta Pozsonyi, 44 yo, mother of three boys. I was born and raised in Turda, a wonderful town in the middle of Transylvania, Romania. Surrounded by productive villages, beautiful landscapes, and many natural touristic destinations, like the Turda Salt Mine, Turda Gorge, Turda Salt Lakes.
I joined Slow Food in 2008 and attended Terra Madre that same year. That edition changed my life. At that time I worked for a local NGO where I had the opportunity to engage with children in the job, and be part of the team which organized a food/agrarian festival. It was the beginning of my journey as a freelancer and the coordinator of all Slow Food Turda projects, with so many innovative ideas in Romania. As I said, Terra Madre 2008 changed my life. Seeing so much diversity, meeting so many people, tasting products, listening to stories, experiences, projects, and learning about friendships between people from different cultures but with a common goal, to safeguard our food heritage. Then I realized that this is what I have to do, this is my way to change communities by bringing people together and making them work together, discover local specificity, to create and maintain collaborations. In 2009, a new chapter of my life began. With a large group of volunteers, I started my own Slow Food Turda Association and initiated the first Romanian School garden named “Life in the green garden”, which was a success and after all these years we still do it in a more developed form. After that, projects just came one after another: Gastronomic summer campuses, Food education in schools, Food festivals for children, YES FOOD! (Young Europeans for Sustainable Food – European youth meeting), Sustainable food tourism conference for students and Turda Community Gastronomic Center.
We use every single occasion to celebrate food, earth, water, biodiversity, people, places, and the environment.
From these thirteen years of experience, I learned that our work never stops; we have to continue to fight for our right to have a choice; to be able to make a choice, the right one for our future, for our food, and our planet. It is extraordinary to know that we can keep discovering old or new food to be safeguarded. Old or new production methods have to be learned and, old or new tastes to be discovered.
The Covid pandemic kept me very busy, feeling responsible for finding ways to continue our work. The first lockdown in April 2020 was the start of the Slow Food Turda delivery program, where I delivered as a volunteer, food from producers to people in the community, for two months. I also cooked for people in need with the support of the Red Cross and my family, baked bread in the traditional oven every day, and did daily deliveries of vegetables, fruit, cheese, plants, wine, apple juice, honey, paprika, cold-pressed oils, meals, and bread.
Also, in 2020 we had to cancel many planned events, but still, we were able to organize most of them, for example, the Good Food Good Farming campaign and many workshops online and onsite at our kitchen at the school with the students. I was able to cook with small numbers of students in my kitchen and bring children into our new school garden to grow vegetables and herbs during the entire summer.
My kids were always part of our programs and they constantly joined me when others couldn’t; this way I continued my work. We made videos and short materials on recipes so people could easily cook at home during the lockdowns. In our new school garden, we created three outdoor classrooms in August 2020 and one more in our main partner school, so children could study in a safe and healthy environment during the pandemic and after. Month after month was a daily work to build the future of our organization also in crises period, reorganizing our kitchen and planning the lockdown activities.
Everything I did successfully was because of the support of my family, my friends, and very good partners, who believed in me and my dreams, and never doubted their success or need for a better future.