Ciao Slow Foodies, from Italy!
I hope you are all well and happy at home in the Tetons! This is a brief hello to let you know about what has blossomed from this year’s Slow Food Terra Madre event and the World Congress. I departed the Tetons on October 21st en route to Italy, the motherland of the Slow Food movement.
Slow Food came to being in a small town in northwestern Italy, called Bra, which is about 60 minutes southeast of the city of Torino. It is in Torino that the two biggest Slow Food events, called Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto, take place every two years. For the first time Terra Madre occurred simultaneously with the 6th Slow Food World Congress, that only takes place every four years. These events were my destination.
The slogan of Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2012 was “Foods that Change the World”. Carlo Petrini, the president and one of the founders of Slow Food, describes it best: “The event conveys an idea of how, through food, we can put forward real alternatives to a development model that is no longer suitable for us or for the earth.” This event showcases over 150 countries, bringing together thousands of people to exchange and celebrate the diversity of food culture. Over 200,000 visitors attended this year for the opportunity to experience the food and culture of the Balkans, Japan, Palestine, Iceland, Brazil, India, and Morocco, just to name a few countries. It is five days of sensory overload at it’s best. You can taste, touch, smell, and hear the diversity of food-culture. It was within this setting that the Slow Food World Congress was held.
The World Congress was held for three days. The purpose of the Congress, as written in the Slow Food policy document, The Central Role of Food
, is “to discuss the political and cultural issues that underlie the daily work of the 1,500 convivia (local chapters) and more than 2,500 food communities that operate in 130 countries round the world.” Because it is the “ideas, values, and local organizations…” that are “Slow Food’s most precious asset- its foundation.” I want to ask you, what other organization, or struggle, can bring together such a diversity of cultures under one roof? We had hundreds of representatives, including people from Palestine and Isreal, China, North Korea, and Japan, and India and Pakistan. Food is a global issue and an inherent right for all.
In addition to hearing the struggles and successes of the local movements, we voted on the organization’s international governance. One interesting change in position was that of the Vice President, which is now held by Alice Waters, renowned activist, author, and founder of The Edible School Yard and the famous restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkley. I cannot tell you what a joy it has been to experience the global reach of the Slow Food Network, and I want to encourage you to be involved.
If you are passionate about food and want to have a better understanding of the Slow Food movement and the global reach of the organization, then I urge you to read the new Congress Paper: “The Central Role of Food”. Please go to: www.slowfood.com/international/138/sixth-slow-food-international-congress
to access the document. It is our time to give back to Mother Earth and indigenous cultures that have too long suffered due to greed. It is time to build-up our food-community in the Tetons, and develop a regional network of agrarians and food-producers. We should support the production of community and schoolyard gardens, and bring food curriculum back into our schools so that children have the opportunity to understand our connection to the earth and to the food and water that sustain us.
Terra Madre Day is Dec 10th. Please be a part of the Slow Revolution, towards a deeper appreciation of food, family, and traditional knowledge. On this day, as on every day, give thanks to Terra Madre, to Mother Earth. As Carlo Petrini says, “A necessary part of the equation is the Earth itself, which, since it nourishes us and lets us grow, we have to love and respect as best we can.” The Slow Food movement must become part of our landscape, a movement for generations.
I want to leave you with a question: “What does Terra Madre (Mother Earth) mean to you?
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration!
Above- one of my St. Lawrence University projects
“Since golden October declined into sombre November / And the apples were gathered and stored, and the land became brown sharp points of death in a waste of water and mud.”
Off-season, mud-season, no good snow, no warmth, no growth or green, just cold and crud to greet and welcome me to Teton Valley. But it’s not all wading through the gloom, the fish are biting, the people give smiles and waves, the mountain slopes challenge my boots and thighs then, in turn, reward my eyes and strengthen my adapting cardiovascular system. No matter where you are, November chills the soul. No matter how much delicious butternut squash soup you eat, It’s inevitable, the shorter days get you down.
Beneath this theater of mammoth sky and mountains, however, I feel more enthusiastic for my community, my landscape, and my home than ever before. I want to help us out of this bust, to retain and develop our wild and free character, our commitment to conservation, to families and to food. Through food, we can enrich our lives. During most of my 22 years, I have been conditioned to see food as a commodity, something granted and invaluable. Until recently, I could not recognize the impacts of this misconception, the destruction of our fertile soils, the obesity, heart disease and debilitating digestive disorders, the homogenization of our regional cultures and turning the public into test subjects for GMOs to satisfy a corn and soy centered farm bill. It all comes down to the dinner plate, to knowing how much impact our meal choices have on our health, our community and our planet. That’s where Slow Food comes in.
We are living in an important time, smack in the middle of a food revolution, a changing of the guard. Though we are just a regional chapter of Slow Food, we can do great things for our community, the farmers, the producers, and the families. In my time here, I hope to make eating locally and responsibly easier for the residents of Teton Valley and Jackson. Through the creation of a local food guide, a food assistance program for low income families and educational gardens open to all, we will become healthier, more resilient, and better connected as a community. That’s my goal.
To share your goals or if you want to talk about getting these initiatives underway, please email me at email@example.com
or call me at 860.716.2768. Feel free to stop me on the street too, I am hard to miss, a 6 foot 6 inch bearded brunet who usually rides his sticker covered steal bike around with orange panniers on the rack. Thanks for taking me in,
5th Annual Harvest Festival
September 29, 2012
Time: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Meet local and regional farmers in and around the Tetons!
Enjoy this free community event with local produce, beer, wine, and prepared foods. Purchase local produce from our local farmers’ last harvest of the season. Enjoy natural care professionals, local artists and musicians as we celebrate the close of another growing season. Kid’s activities, live music, food vendors.
Powderhorn Park in the Town of Jackson
Teton Wellness Institute
presents: Michael Pollan Author of Omnivore's DilemmaSaturday, September 29 at 7:00pm Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, Wyo.Hunger, Health and Happiness:
How Our Food Choices Shape the Future
The Teton Wellness Institute is proud to announce the keynote speaker for the 2012 Teton Wellness Summit: Michael Pollan, journalist, best-selling author, and one of our nation’s most trusted authorities on food-related trends and issues. Stay up-to-date with Teton Wellness Institute and other events on the Facebook Fan page. Learn more and purchase tickets now at www.tetonwellness.org
Questions? Contact Marcia at the Teton Wellness Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Slow Food in the Tetons on Friday, September 21st for our first ever Harvest Festival and Taste of the Tetons! We'll also be having a salsa contest with local ingredients. Please join us!
We hope you can join us this Saturday, June 21st
for our annual PIE CONTEST
at the Tin Cup Challenge
in Driggs, ID! Judging begins at 11:30am.
This 9 week fundraising event culminates at Driggs City Park with a fun/walk, competitive running race, and community-wide celebration of philanthropy. CLICK HERE to give to Slow Food in the Tetons and have your donation matched! (Donation period ends at 5pm on July 30th)
Don't miss this awesome opportunity to hear Joel Salatin speak and then enjoy a locally sourced dinner prepared by Slow Food in the Tetons!
Cinco de Mayo Chorizo Making Class at Aspens Market! May 5th, 3-5, at Aspens Market in Wilson, WY off Teton Village Rd!
Currently Under constructionSee our old blog at: http://tetonslowfood.wordpress.com/