In today’s Il caffe’ di oggi we will discuss The Slow Food Movement and its subsequent offshoots of Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto.
The Slow Food Movement originated in Italy in 1989 by political activist and journalist Carlo Petrini. The objective of this movement is to “prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life, and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat.” Today Petrini’s organization has over 100,000 members from 160 countries.
The Slow Food Movement disseminates its message by hosting world-wide cuisine events focused on cultural practices, cultivation, and preparation. Some of these include Arc of Taste, where near-extinct foods are brought to light and cataloged for future generations. Another practice includes a Convivum or when various Slow Food chapter members come together to highlight the products of a local producer or farmer. This Convivum may also include a simple meal or tasting for the mere scope of enjoying the convivial atmosphere. This movement also focuses on general food education for adults and children.
On a larger scale, the Slow Food Movement hosts a biennial international gathering called Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy. This gathering was originally two separate events and were only combined in 2012. The Terra Madre is a meeting opportunity for food producers who practice environmental sustainability and maintain traditional methodologies of production. This event is self-described as a “Farmers’ United Nations”.
The Salone del Gusto began in 1996 in Turin as well. This convention saw the first edition of the Arc of Taste as well as general food education and degustation. Over the years the Salone has attracted many well-known names such as several former Prime Ministers and Presidents of Italy, Charles, Prince of Wales, and American author Michael Pollan.
In 2004, The Slow Food Movement helped create the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. Here, students can receive Undergraduate through Doctorate diplomas in subjects such as Ecogastronomy, Food Innovation & Management, and Gastronomic Sciences & Cultures.
As we can see, this organization continues to strive to find ways to preserve our rich heritage of food cultivation and preparation, as well as find modern ways to make it make it more sustainable. We urge you to learn more about The Slow Food Movement by clicking on the links below. Maybe we will even see you at the 2020 Terra Madre Salone del Gusto this coming October 8 through 12!
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