Let’s Put A Better Future On The Table
Why should Slow Food concern itself with climate change?
Everyone is talking about it, and some even deny it. But we experience its effects every day: glaciers melting, rivers drying up, extreme heat and increasingly violent hurricanes and tornados. But to many of us it still feels like a distant, abstract problem, unconnected to a daily act that we often take for granted: eating. This is why the issue is more important than ever to Slow Food.
The industrial food production system is one of the biggest culprits: Agriculture and other land use activities cause one quarter of global CO2 emissions (IPCC), and two thirds of this is linked to livestock production.
But agriculture, particularly small-scale farming, is also the first victim of climate change, as farmers have to deal with devastating droughts interrupted by flash floods, and make longer and longer journeys to find water for their animals. Rising sea levels are threatening the survival of fishing communities, the acidification of the oceans is making them hostile to life and every day we are seeing more and more biodiversity loss and unstoppable desertification.
So what can our movement do about all this?
At the base of all Slow Food projects there is the promotion of agroecology, a fundamental resource in confronting climate change. Unlike conventional agriculture, which concentrates on the practice of uniform technologies, independently of the contexts in which they’re applied, and which aims to maximize yields thanks to the use of chemical inputs, mechanization, selected seeds and monocultures, agroecology is based on respect for biodiversity, the recycling of nutrients and the synergy of plant and animal farming.
But also, let’s keep in mind that every single one of us can make a difference, starting by making some changes to our everyday shopping. The combined effect of all of our choices together can push governments and the international community to finally start heading down the alternative route that our planet so desperately needs.