Food For Change: Seeds

Using seeds for change…

Over time, industrial seeds have superseded natural and farmer gathered seeds, and have become what we generally now find on the market. According to FAO, in the 1970s there were over 7000 seed companies, none of which stretched into the global market, while today the first three – Monsanto, Pioneer Dupont and Syngenta—hold 53% of the global market and the top ten hold 76%. According to The Greens / Efa Group, in the European Union 75% of the corn market is controlled by the top five companies in the sector, as well as 86% of the sugar beet market and 95% of greens. The recent merger of the giants Bayer and Monsanto greatly increases the control of these few large companies across the global market.

Did you know?

Do you ever wonder about the seeds that have generated your food? When shopping or eating, do you often ask who produced, and selected the seeds used to produce your fruit and vegetables, your bread and pasta, and even your meat, given that farmed animals feed on vegetables? Do you have a small vegetable garden? Do you know how to select, multiply and store seeds for the following year?

Slow Food is committed to internationally promoting the value of seeds, those selected by farmers according to the principles of wisdom that have improved their yield, taste, nutritional values ​​and other qualities. It is also committed to the genetic diversity of crops, essential in facing environmental changes and unpredictable climatic conditions, to ensure greater production and to protect the natural environment.

Our position can be summarized as follows: supporting more genetic diversity and more freedom for rural communities, and growing GMO-free produce.

 Seeds Terra Madre Salone del GustoSeeds at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

If you are interested in further exploring the world of Slow Seeds, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto offers:

  • thematic forums, where the delegates of the network will share their experiences – from ancient grains of sub-Saharan Africa to urban, school, community vegetable projects;
  • Taste Workshops and Cooking Schools, with presentations on conservation techniques, ancient varieties, and ideas for the kitchen garden.
  • Further, there will be continuous  activities for school groups every day until 1pm.
  • We also invite you to follow our interactive path, where thanks to the guidance of experts you will be able to discover and learn more about the world of seeds.

Taste Workshops and Cooking Schools are paid and can be purchased online; the other events are free to attend. Click here for list of events, search “Seeds”.

The Seeds area, found in the halls of the Lingotto Fiere, is also a Slow Food point! Take the opportunity to get to know us, find more information about our campaigns and leave us your contact information if you would like to stay updated with all the movement’s projects!

20 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

The Art of Felitto Fusilli

This particular type of fusillo pasta is made only within the Felitto municipality, in the Campanian province of Salerno, from durum wheat flour, locally produced eggs, a little salt, a glass of water and a spoonful of local extra-virgin olive […]

20 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Nuts and Oil Seeds

Almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, and even sunflower, flax, sesame, and pumpkin seeds, oil seeds are found throughout the world. A small handful a day is enough to enrich our diet with beneficial elements, such as vitamins, proteins, and minerals. We will […]

20 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi
Sold out

Agroecology in Small Spaces – Grow Your Own Food

A workshop dedicated to kitchen gardening in small spaces: a tiny bed, a corner of a schoolyard, a pot on a balcony or terrace. Learn the tricks of agroecology in small areas and how to manage plant supports and exposure, […]

20 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Where do Spices Come From?

Though interest in the origin of ingredients has grown in recent years, there is still a category that has yet to gain attention of the “localvores,” despite its essential contribution to the flavor of food. We are talking, of course, […]

20 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Slow Mays Network  

A handful of multinationals have taken over the world of corn. They offer only a very few varieties, all hybrid and transgenic. This corn eats up the land, consuming soil, landscape, water, air… even us. Slow Maize is a network […]

20 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

China: The Kingdom of Mapo Tofu

The origins of Mapo Tofu, During the Tongzhi period of the Qing Dynasty, from the mid to late 1800s, a small restaurant operated close to the Wanfu bridge at the northern gate of the Sichuan capital of Chengdu. The owner, […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

A Giant Arancina

Arancine are one of Sicily’s most symbolic foods, a popular snack sold at bakeries and cafés across the island. These fried rice balls are traditionally filled with ragù and peas or ham and cheese, but interpretations exist with other ingredients […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Palestine: All the Colors of Tahini

Tahini is a creamy paste made from sesame seeds, widespread throughout Greece, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, used as a flavoring in many recipes and a condiment to serve with meat or desserts and best known internationally as […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

School Gardens

In Berkeley, California, in the mid-nineties, the famous chef and activist Alice Waters conceived and cultivated Slow Food’s first school garden. Since then, school gardens in the Slow Food network have flourished everywhere, there are over 500 in Italy, more […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

An Organic Home Garden – Grow Your Own Food

Design and create your own home garden Andrea Giaccardi, Slow Food horticulture educator and owner of the organic farm L’Orto del Pian Bosco, will show participants how to design a small organic vegetable garden, from choosing the most suitable crops […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

The Art and Practice of Saving Seeds

Today, those who cultivate a garden buy seeds or seedlings, while the knowledge of farming communities regarding the selection and reproduction seeds has almost disappeared. In fact, just six multinationals control 63% of the global seed market, marketing the same […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Time for Italian Apples

Apple cultivation has a long and glorious history in Italy, and can be traced back at least as far as the Early Middle Ages. However, modern agricultural development has unfortunately made a drastic selection, prioritizing mainly the foreign  varieties of […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Slow Meat

Like Two Lupins in a Pod! – Slow Beans

Lupins around the world In Italy lupins are mostly eaten au naturel—soaked in cold water, boiled and soaked in brine for a couple of days—as a healthy snack or served as an antipasto with olives and pumpkin seeds. But in […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Red Rice: From Burkina Faso to Piedmont

Red Rice around the world Vercelli is considered the European capital of rice, located in the heart of the Piedmontese-Lombard rice-growing area and with the largest surface area planted with rice in all of Europe. Among the many varieties grown […]

21 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Austria’s 1,001 Uses for Corn – Slow Mays

Austria’s Galital white corn is a local variety, free from genetic manipulation, particularly suited to polenta and used in many other culinary specialties. This hardy variety almost disappeared as it was replaced by more productive hybrid varieties. But in the […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

A two-thousand year staple: Egyptian Fava Beans

With 7,000 years of history, Egyptian cuisine has gone through many changes, it has developed and absorbed many cultures and philosophies, making it a true melting pot. Many of these developments left their “food-print” in archaeological remains. Thanks to these, […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Banks, Libraries, and Granaries: Where Seeds are Conserved

The best-known example is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen: a huge “bank” that houses seeds of crop species ready to be sown in the event of a biological catastrophe. Apart from this and other […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

The Philippines: A Land of Rice

Rice is one of the staples of Filipino cuisine, accompanying every dish and even used in some traditional desserts. This workshop will highlight two native rice varieties from the Ark of Taste: Tinawon, cultivated on irrigated terraces between 500 and […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Historical Gardens, Living Gardens

They are fragments of a glorious past that have survived for centuries and remain intact today: historic gardens and woods that preserve ancient varieties of apples, figs, bananas, and oranges. They are ancient trees that are still productive and that […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Slow Meat

Mexico: Milpa beans – Slow Beans

Beans, one of the most complete, nutritious foods, are an essential element in the milpa, Mexico’s millenary system of intercropping corn, beans, pumpkin and dozens of other plants. At Tepetlixpa, a town in Estado de México, Slow Food has established […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

An Organic Home Garden – Grow Your Own Food

Grow your own food, design your home garden Andrea Giaccardi, Slow Food horticulture educator and owner of the organic farm L’Orto del Pian Bosco, will show participants how to design a small organic vegetable garden, from choosing the most suitable […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi
Sold out

Colors of Sicily: Yellow Peaches, Red Strawberries

The sweet colors of Sicily’s fruit Ever since he opened his pastry shop in San Giuseppe Jato, in the hills outside Palermo, Sicily, in 1972, Salvatore Cerniglia has been refining his art, learned in Piana degli Albanesi, combining influences from […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Cultivating Cities

Urban agriculture is not simply a pastime; it is a sustainable way of designing and living in cities. This practice creates more effective food systems that consider both cities and their peripheries as places of production. Urban gardens inspire a […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Bosnia’s Ancient Corn – Slow Mays

Slow Mays in Bosnia, a look at Bosnian corn An exploration of two historic Bosnian corn varieties, Popovo Polje Brzac and Potkozarje Bjelčić. They have a lot in common: both light in color, mainly cultivated at a family level and […]

22 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

What Tomato to Use for a Pizza?

Flour, water, salt, then a layer of tomato spread over the dough. A pizza may seem easy to make, but based on the ingredients, from the grains used in the flour to the choice of tomato, the end result can […]

23 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Feeding the World: Couscous Made with Ancient Grains

France is currently the world’s largest couscous producer, but the communities that still produce it artisanally are mostly found in Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Chad and Senegal) and the Middle East (Palestine and Lebanon). A traditional Friday dish, […]

23 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Seed Biodiversity as a Response to Climate Change

So small, and yet so powerful. Farmer-selected seeds are alive and dynamic, the result of a gradual adaptation to the characteristics of a particular territory and climate. In this event we will discuss why a rich and diversified agricultural system […]

23 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

Peppers Plain and Simple

Peppers can be yellow, red or green, square, horned or spiraling: a diversity of shapes, colors, fragrances and flavors that since the Colombian Exchange has become an integral part of the Italian diet and a key product in the country’s […]

23 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Sala Azzurra/Azure Room

Resisting GMOs

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) represent the most extreme result of an agricultural, economic, and even political system that concentrates power in ever fewer hands, for the benefit of corporations and to the detriment of rural communities, biodiversity, and the environment. […]

23 September
Torino-Lingotto Fiere // Food for Change – Semi

The Corn Network

Corn (or maize) is one of the most important agro-industrial commodities. It is used as food, animal feed, and even in packaging. The corn varieties that dominate the market are commercial hybrids (often genetically modified) and their cultivation has a […]

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