Food for change, a power every one of us has, every day, on our own tables, for a better future of the planet.
Each of us can trigger change, in our daily lives, starting from our food, choosing what we buy – and what we grow – to prepare our meals. This is the goal of the twelfth edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto: going beyond the five days of the event and the communication campaign that will last a few months on the Italian and international media channels and associations.
Take an example from the stories of those who already promote Food for Change every day, in their lives, in every corner of the world. Let’s see what it means for the Slow Food network to change the world through food, through one’s work, or even one’s free time, even just one step at a time.
Isabel Angelica Inayao Sepulveda – The Mujeres Rurales in Chile
Isabel Angelica Inayao Sepulveda is a young Chilean. She dedicates herself to small-scale sustainable agriculture in the rural areas surrounding the small city of Paillaco, in the south of Chile. Together with 18 other women, she works in Agrupación por la biodiversidad de Paillaco (Group for the Biodiversity of Paillaco). They are mujeres rurales (rural women), part of the local Slow Food network, who support chemical-free agriculture, are dedicated to the research of local varieties, and promoting a healthy diet fighting the advanced diseases that occur due to an excessive consumption of processed foods. These women use agroecology to produce vegetables, they are also harvest herbs and wild fruits to sell weekly at the local market. Their specialty are jams made of murta, small red berries from a shrub originally from the south of Chile.
Christian Aguerre –Sustainable farming in the French Basque Region
“Most people thinking of cultural heritage only consider monuments and historic buildings, but for me a pig that lives free in nature is a much more beautiful monument than a church in ruins”
Christian Aguerreche shares his vision in the French Basque region, he works with a group of other producers to protect local biodiversity, breeding ancient breeds of pigs and sheep, as well as cultivating local varieties of corn and cherries. The Basque Kintoa pig is at risk due to its low reproductive capacity, but thanks to the breeds characteristics making breeding easy in the wild, and the gastronomic quality of the meat, as well at its protection and promotion by a Slow Food Presidium, it can be saved from extinction.
Akeisha Clarke – The fisherwomen of Slow Fish Caribe
A young indigenous woman working in small-scale artisanal fishing, where the workers, whether they are fishermen or other operators, are for the most part men, and where the role of women is not recognized. She is called Akeisha Clarke and she will participate for this first time at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, representing the fishing community of Petit Martinique, not far from the mother island, Grenada. This community has recently joined the Slow Food Caribe project, which promotes sustainable management of natural resources, essential for combating poverty, and ensuring food security.
Pierre Thiam – The King of New African Cuisine and the Cereals of Sahel
His name is Pierre Thiam, he is a well-known Senegalese chef in New York where he was described as “the king of the new African cuisine” due to his contemporary interpretation of ethnic flavors that has won a respectable audience. “When I cook, I want every dish of mine to go beyond the recipe I propose, to leave a mark”. Thiam succeeded with the Fonio, a cereal considered miraculous for its nutritional and technical characteristics that allow its cultivation with little water and in harsh environments. “This small seed can change the fate of the African continent, and in particular the sub-Saharan band of the Sahel, the poorest one, from which hundreds of thousands of young people leave their lives in search of fortune to Europe. This is why I am working to ensure that the cultivation of the Fonio can reach international markets “.
Slow Food Prague and the School Cafeteria Project
They worked on public opinion and national institutions, also taking part in the discussions of the Ministry of Education, to raise awareness on the importance of food education and the healthiness of meals in school canteens. Slow Food Prague launched the Dream Canteen project two years ago, in turn influencing national politics and contributing to the ratification of the so-called Titbit Decree which forbade spreading industrial snacks in vending machines and school cafes, it also promoted the distribution of healthier snacks such as fruit and vegetables.
Helen Nguya – Gardens and Presidia to protect the rights of vulnerable people in Tanzania
Helen Nguya, in her over 35 years of experience developing projects for Tanzanian communities involving sustainable food and agriculture, has always worked on the principle that communities must embody the change they want. She was the founder of the local organization Trmega (Training, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation on Gender and Aids), a point of reference that supports vulnerable individuals such as widows, children, poor women, and those suffering from HIV and AIDS to work together. In 2004, she connected with Slow Food and today is one of the most enthusiastic promoters of the Orti in Africa project, which contributes to the creation of the Arusha Honeybee Honey Presidium, and other Slow Food projects in Tanzania.
Gianrico Fabbri – The Montevarchi Earth Market helping the local economy
“I got to know Slow Food through my brother Luca, the historical manager of the association, but only in 2004, when I participated as a volunteer for the first edition of Terra Madre, I fell in love with this beautiful network and decided to become an active part”
Says Gianrico Fabbri, 43, employed by a fashion multinational and today a coordinator of Slow Food Toscana. Until a few days ago he was trustee of the Upper Hills Conduct of Valdarno, in the province of Arezzo, where the historic Slow Food Earth Market was born. Today the market is active every day and generates about 1.5 million euros a year. “The 80 producers that belong to it operate within 40 km of Montevarchi. To guide the activities, a business network was set up, with producers and the social cooperative that deals with sales, and a committee which also includes Slow Food “. Every fruit, vegetable, cereal sold at the market is easily attributable its producer, while at least once a month they come to the market themselves. Producers who appear also invite co-producers in their company to touch the soil with their hand, learn the techniques, the forage, and the tools. “In my area, which is based on industry and craftsmanship, the Market is an important channel for the agricultural economy; for co-producers it represents the possibility to practice the short supply chain assuring freshness, quality, and also trusting relationships with the producers”.