«The greatest discovery of my generation
is that a human being can alter his life
by altering his attitudes».
Taking a small liberty with William James’s words, we can say that a human being may also alter their life by simply altering their way of eating. Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 will try to influence people’s everyday lives, asking them to think about how they eat, how they shop and how they approach food in general, encouraging a broad, widespread change that moves in the direction of greater awareness.
This is more urgent than ever before, because the food we eat is having a direct impact on the planet on which we live and its natural resources, on the lives of food producers, on our health and on the welfare of the animals being farmed for our benefit.
Let’s take for example an issue we care about deeply: climate change. It might seem like something abstract and distant, or something inevitable and impossible to alter. But by paying attention to something very close to us—food—we can in fact bring about significant changes.
From the field to the fork, food production is responsible for a fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the major causes of global warming. Yet our food is also one of the primary victims of climate change.
Drought, desertification, floods, sea-level rise and ocean pollution put our food at risk across the world. The poorest parts of the planet are already suffering directly as a result, but the consequences can be felt everywhere: milder winters, the northward shift of tropical pests, meager pastures and frequent, unpredictable, violent weather events.
The good news is that by changing our food habits, even a little bit, we can contribute to the solution.