The Slow Food movement: – EATALY
The Slow Food movement began when the first McDonalds® opened 20 years ago, in Rome. Italy is not that interested in fast food. Since then, Slow Food has grown into an international association that asserts that good, clean, fair food is a human right – and that means loving the earth.
This year, local Slow Food members Ntombenhle Mtambo and Nikki Brighton joined 7000 delegates at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto held in Turin in Italy that brings together food activists and producers from across the globe to learn and share.
“I felt like I was on TV” said Ntombenhle, “I never thought I would see these things with my own eyes – the different foods, the national dress, listening to the foreign languages. It was amazing.” Without a doubt, connecting with like-minded people was the highlight. Even meeting other South Africans was interesting – representatives from rural Limpopo, to hip and happening Khayelitsha, from the West Coast fisheries to the inspiring food events of Soweto.
Ntombenhle was astonished by all the cheese – piles of parmesan, provelone shaped like lifebuoys, enormous wheels of pecorino and the ‘rarest cheese in the world’ from Montebore in Valle Nostra. For Nikki, an abiding memory was ice cream. During the festival a long stretch of Via Po became Via Gelato inviting the million visitors to ‘taste biodiversity in one cup’. Choose between Renneta or Gala apple, Amalfi or Syracuse lemon, Bonda Valley Romasin Plum, Bronte Pistachio from Sciliy, Piedmotese Hazelnut, Stracciatella – and more!
The Indigenous Terra Madre network hosted fascinating workshops and discussions including: Women as seed keepers, safeguarding food and culture; How Indigenous Food Systems Can Inspire Solutions – when it comes to global challenges such as climate change and hunger, indigenous food systems are seldom considered even though indigenous people are breeders of biodiversity, good innovators and keen observers of nature.
One evening thousands marched through the city bearing banners with universal messages. Save Biodiversity. Vote with Your Fork. They are Giants but We are Millions (referring to the power of the agricultural and food multinationals). Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food, suggested that the greatest gift everyone would take from Terra Madre was recognising the value of others and seeing the pride of the farmers.
Nikki and Ntombenhle conclude “Terra Madre was an incredible experience, not least because we learnt that common language is not the most important thing in communication – hugs, nods, smiles and hand gestures go a long way! Wonderful to know that other people feel as passionate about good food produced without harm, as we do.”
Why not join us in Ntombenhle’s Mpophomeni garden on 10 December to celebrate Terra Madre Day with the Slow Food community across the world? Bring home grown, homemade, local, organic food to share. More info 083 473 3074 or firstname.lastname@example.org