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June 2010

   
 

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In this edition:
 


Editorial

By Carlo Petrini

Slow Food Key Words
Presidia

Campaigns
Slow Fish
Saving the Sultan of Fish

From Land to Table
Along the Silk Road
A research group visits Terra Madre communities along the tracks of Marco Polo

Royal Reception
Slow Food UK’s reception with HRH Prince Charles at Highgrove Farm

Summer School in Food Policy
UNISG new online advanced program in food policy and sustainability


Strengthening Networks
Food communities prepare for national Terra Madre meetings


Slow Canteens on Screen

Slow Food France captures good, clean and fair canteens on film


World Environment Day

Slow Food Fayoum (Egypt) looks to youth and the environment

Voices from Terra Madre
Indigenous Wisdom in a Modern World

Food Traditions
Flavors from a Harsh Land
The cuisine of northern Europe’s indigenous Sámi people

Food for Thought
Plastic Bans
Americans vote to ban plastic bags and bottles

In Print, On Screen
Feeding People is Easy

Breaking Bread
Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens


Another World is Plantable!


Calendar

 
     




Slow Food
key words
 

Presidia

Presidia (singular – Presidium) are the main projects of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, set up to sustain quality production at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods, and/or safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties. Presidia projects seek out good, clean and fair products at risk of extinction and directly involve producers: offering technical assistance to improve production quality, organizing exchanges among different countries, promoting the product and providing new market outlets (both locally and internationally).

In most cases, Presidia projects begin with a product listed on the Ark of Taste - Slow Food’s catalogue of at-risk products - however there are several cases in which the focus is broadened from that of protecting an individual product. The Presidia of American and Irish raw milk cheese, for example, work to help producers of a number of different cheeses continue to make artisan raw milk cheese in spite of bureaucratic regulations in their homelands. To date, 314 Presidia have been created around the world, involving over 10,000 small-scale sustainable farmers, with an increasing focus on supporting projects in the global south.

For more information visit the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity: www.slowfoodfoundation.org.

  < Return to Index >


Campaigns


Slow Fish
Saving the Sultan of Fish


Turkey - Sitting impressively between the Black Sea and the Marmara, the metropolis of Istanbul has a long history of fishing and fish restaurants, with the famous fish sandwiches cooked on boats along the shores of the Bosphorus one of the most popular snacks for the more than 12 million inhabitants. However, changes in fishing regulations have resulted in more unsustainable practices and cast an uncertain fate on one of Istanbul’s most beloved fish - the lüfer. In the face of losing what locals call, “the sultan of all fishes”, Slow Food Istanbul has launched Don't Let the Lüfer Go Extinct! campaign, to raise awareness of this among the public, the food industry and the government.

“The lüfer is a fascinating fish,” says Slow Food Istanbul’s founder Defne Koryurek. “It migrates from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean… All the way along the fish's migratory path its flavors change according to the fish it feeds on and the diverse salt levels of these seas.” But local fishermen and researchers have noticed a drop in lüfer stocks in recent years. “Since 2002 we have been seeing a new kind of lüfer on our plates - baby lüfer”, says Koryurek, meaning that fewer fish in the sea are reaching their reproductive age. “Over the years, imperceptibly to most local residents, the fish have gotten smaller and smaller.” Working with local fishermen, chefs and fishmongers, the convivium has created a petition and are asking the city’s shoppers and restaurants to say no to fishing, serving and eating lüfer less than 24cm in length. “It has been only one month since we started and already we have more than 100 establishments and 3,000 people’s signatures. Restaurants and fish shops are displaying stickers in their windows showing that they support the campaign, which is creating a real presence in the city”.

Click here to read the full story in English on the Slow Fish website.



Slow Fish Challenge

Remember that you can now participate in the Slow Fish Challenge: Choose a local species of sustainable fish, find or create a recipe and send us the information to help create a collective recipe book of good, clean and fair fish and seafood from around the world.

Click here for more information on the Slow Fish Challenge.

For more information on the Slow Fish campaign: www.slowfood.com/slowfish

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From Land to Table...

Along the Silk Road
A research group visits Terra Madre communities along the tracks of Marco Polo, investigating the genetics of taste

A group of genetic researchers will begin a voyage along parts of the Silk Road next month from Georgia to Kazakhstan, visiting Terra Madre food communities in each leg to research the influence of genetics on the perception of taste, document local food traditions and hold sensory education workshops. First presented as an idea at the 2008 Terra Madre event, the project took its inspiration from Venetian explorer Marco Polo’s journey along the Silk Road. The research findings will be presented at the Terra Madre world meeting in Turin, Italy in October, and material will be used for various publications on the project’s website, television programs, multimedia educational kits, books, scientific publications and photo displays The trip will also coincide with three regional Terra Madre meetings in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan..

Click here for the full article on the Slow Food website.
Click here for the project website (in Italian and English).


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Royal Reception
Slow Food UK’s reception with HRH Prince Charles at Highgrove Farm

Slow Food UK were honored to hold a reception hosted by The Prince of Wales at Highgrove in Gloucestershire last month, with an event that included a tour of the property’s organic gardens, and a chance for Slow Food members to speak with Prince Charles and the association’s president and founder Carlo Petrini. During his speech at the reception His Royal Highness said: “The point about the Slow Food movement is reminding people about the enjoyment of proper food and how it is all linked to the management of the landscape and the countryside with all the intimate connections between food production and culture. I admire hugely what the Slow Food movement is doing.” The 150 guests included many of Slow Food UK’s supporters as well as partner organizations and chefs and representatives from the network of Slow Food convivia across the country.

Click here to view a video of Prince Charles’s speech on the day.
Click here for the full story on the Slow Food website
.

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Summer School in Food Policy
UNISG new online advanced program in food policy and sustainability

Italy’s University of Gastronomic Sciences has launched an international online summer school focused on sustainability and food policies, to be guided by a number of leading thinkers from around the world including Vandana Shiva, Serge Latouche, Jeremy Rifkin and Tim Lang. The program’s ultimate aim is to produce a guideline document addressed to stakeholders seeking to adopt food policies encompassing the latest analyses on ecological, economic, social and sensory sustainability, to be presented during the Terra Madre world meeting of food communities in October of this year.

For more information: www.unisg.it

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Strengthening Networks
Food communities around the world prepare for national Terra Madre meetings

Terra Madre Balkans – Sofia, Bulgaria, July 15 – 18.
In the first such meeting ever organized in their region, 165 delegates from ten countries across the Balkan Peninsula will gather in Sofia, Bulgaria in July for Terra Madre Balkans. Representatives from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, UNMIK Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey will be able to partake in an exhibition area as well as conferences and workshops on the topics of sustainable food production and rural tourism development in the region. The fate of traditional foods in light of EU-membership will be a central focus of the meeting.

For more information:
Michele Rumiz m.rumiz@slowfood.it

Terra Madre Argentina – Buenos Aires, July 8 – 11.
Meanwhile across continents, members of the Terre Madre network in Argentina and Uruguay are preparing to come together to exchange ideas and strengthen their network in a four-day event in Buenos Aires next month. A year on from Terra Madre Agentina 2009, the occasion will once again provide a space for members of the national network to meet, bringing together farmers, fishers, producers of good, clean and fair products, cooks, students, academics and responsible consumers - co-producers.

For more information:
Andrea Amato a.amato@slowfood.it

Terra Madre Georgia – Tbilisi, July 30-31.
The first national Terra Madre meeting will unite communities, producers from the Georgian Wine in Jars Presidium, members of local convivia, scientists and representatives from a number of other organizations. Along with seminars, participants will be able to experience typical Georgian products along with Presidium wines and participate in sensory education workshops.

Terra Madre Azerbaijan - Ismailli region, Shemaha, 5 August.
In the mountainous landscape of Ismailli, Terra Madre Azerbaijan will be dedicated to the theme of climate change and the challenges this poses to local producers. The meeting will also feature sensory education workshops and a showcase of regional projects.

Terra Madre Kazakhstan - Alma Aty, September 2.
The event will be organized in collaboration with the Agraria National University, with the participation of academics from the Institute of Nutrition, Institute of Genetics, Institute of Breeding, as well as experts in agriculture, representatives of NGOs and students.

For more information on Terra Madre Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan:
Victoria Smelkova v.smelkova@slowfood.it

< Return to Index >


Slow Canteens on Screen
Slow Food France captures good, clean and fair canteens on film

France - As part of its work to assist and inspire schools to improve their meal service, Slow Food France has produced the documentary Plus de frais à moindre coût (More fresh food, less cost), taking viewers into the kitchens of two schools who have successfully introduced good, clean and fair practices. In both cases the schools were able to stick to budget and respect all rules and regulations - a scenario often believed to be unachievable. The documentary is the first step in a series of actions planned for Haute Qualité Alimentaire (high quality food), Slow Food France’s campaign for better food, with a focus on meals served in schools. The next move will be to release a series of practical tools to help communities turn ideas into concrete action. The film was screened last month by Slow Food Coolporteur in Gap, as part of their festival, Savoirs et Saveurs de Montagne (Knowledge and Tastes of the Mountain) alongside a market, cooking demonstrations, taste workshops, debates and other convivial and education activities.

Click here for the full article on the Slow Food website.

< Return to Index >


World Environment Day
Slow Food Fayoum (Egypt) looks to youth and the environment

Egypt - Over 2000 people helped the Slow Food Fayoum Convivium celebrate the UN’s World Environment Day at Cairo’s Al Azhar park earlier this month, in an event which brought together over 1000 students from around the country along with environmental groups, experts and the public. The convivium set up a small market for the occasion with products from Egypt’s Terra Madre food communities: dates from Siwa (Slow Food Presidium) and Sinai, herbs from Fayoum and bread and traditional pastries from Alessandria, and held tastings, shared their projects with visitors and led educational activities. The day was also an opportunity for reflection and discussion through the conferences and workshops and allowed the convivium to share the Slow Food philosophy with participants.

For more information:
Mohamed M. El Medany

Slow Food Fayoum Convivium Leader
medanyfao@yahoo.co.uk

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Voices of Terra Madre

Indigenous Wisdom in a Modern World
Sweden - Stefan Mikaelsson is the president of the Sámi parliament general assembly; the only official representation for the Sámi peoples, an indigenous ethnic group inhabiting Sápmi - an area stretching across Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. During the Slow Food international council meeting this month, he spoke of his people’s inextricable link to nature in a modernizing world...

 

“As peoples, we reaffirm our rights to self-determination and to own, control and manage our ancestral lands and territories, waters and other resources. Our lands and territories are at the core of our existence - we are the land and the land is us; we have a distinct spiritual and material relationship with our lands and territories and they are inextricably linked to our survival.

Our deep relationship to nature is difficult to reduce to words. To live in nature and to live directly from what nature can give creates an immediate relationship with our environment (which includes animals and each other). The Sámi view of nature as a living being stands in sharp contrast with the western view. Our view of nature has been formed by our values, our traditions, social structures and relationships...."

 
     
  Click here to read the full story on the Terra Madre website.

For more information:
Slow Food Sápmi Convivium
tmip2011@gmail.com

 

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Food Traditions

Flavors from a Harsh Land
The cuisine of northern Europe’s indigenous Sámi people, born from an often severe environment

The ruthless winter can last up to 200 days, temperatures fall lower than -30°C and the sun does not rise for months. But the indigenous Sámi people have formed an indissoluble bond with this pitiless environment. Their land, called Sápmi, embraces the northern regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. Nature here is unforgiving and the ground is not well suited to agriculture. Over the centuries, the survival of the people and their culture has depended on intelligently using and respecting the available resources. Their staple food is reindeer meat, which can be prepared in different ways, eaten raw or cooked for hours over a slow fire, or cured by smoking or salting (suovas). Sausages made from leftover scraps of meat that would otherwise go to waste are also excellent. The berries and wild herbs that grow in the months after the thaw are also an integral part of the Sámi diet. Sorrel, for example, is packed with vitamins and has an acidic, lemony taste, traditionally picked before the plant flowers, just before the summer and preserved inside “water holes” in a wooden container. The leaves, recalling the flavors and scents of summer, are highly valued as a versatile ingredient. For example, they can be boiled and pureed, then eaten with milk (from goats or cows), whipped cream or yogurt and sugar, making it a real delicacy.

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Food for Thought

Plastic Bans
Americans vote to ban plastic bags and bottles

USA - Earlier this month the California State Assembly voted to ban plastic bags from pharmacies, groceries, convenience stores and liquor stores to lessen the associated environmental impact. Retailers must also now charge for paper bags — which must include recyclable content. California follows China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Eritrea, Tanzania, and Uganda, which have already put plastic bag prohibitions in place, and the United Nations has called for the ban to go global. “We in the United States created the plastic bag and it proliferated throughout Europe and throughout the world,” said Julia Brownley from the California State Assembly. “If Bangladesh can ban [them] and see the environmental impact of it, I can’t see why California can’t.”

On the other side of the country, the town of Concord, Massachusetts may be the first American city to forbid the sale of bottled water, following a residents’ vote last month. "All these discarded bottles are damaging our planet, causing clumps of garbage in the oceans that hurt fish, and are creating more pollution on our streets,'' said Jean Hil, who is leading the campaign. "This is a great achievement to be the first in the country to do this. This is about addressing an injustice.”

Click here for the full article on the Slow Food website.

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In Print, On Screen


Feeding People is Easy


In Feeding People is Easy, Colin Tudge argues that we can feed ourselves forever - without cruelty to livestock and without wrecking the rest of the world. When agriculture is expressly designed to feed people rather than solely commodity-driven, all the associated problems seem to solve themselves. In a book that focuses on the positives from the onset, Tudge tells us that if we do it correctly, we will create human societies that are truly agreeable, co-operative and at peace.

Feeding People is Easy, Colin Tudge, Pari Publishing, 2007.

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Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens


Through stories of hand-rolled pasta and homemade chutney, local markets and backyard gardens, this book recounts the memories, recipes, and culinary traditions of people who have come to the United States from around the world. Chef and teacher Lynne Anderson has gone into immigrant kitchens and discovered the power of food to recall a lost world for those who have left much behind.

Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens, Lynne Christy Anderson, Univesity of California Press, 2010.

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Another World is Plantable!


In a series of documentaries, young German filmmaker Ella von der Haide discovers urban community gardens around the world. At the centre of the stories we meet the creators of the community gardens, and discover their gardens and visions. They recount how and why their gardens are not just green oases in the middle of the city, but open the door to ‘another world’.

Another World is Plantable!: Community Gardening Around the World, Ella von der Haide, 2003-2006. .

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The Third Industrial Revolution

I find that there are extraordinary parallels between the new food politics being pursued by Slow Food and the Terra Madre communities and Jeremy Rifkin’s energy policy for the future, based on renewable energy. I was able to confirm this in person during a meeting with him, which became the basis for a long article.

It is no coincidence that Rifkin speaks of a third industrial revolution and that when I spoke to the Terra Madre meeting in 2008, I used these exact words: “You will be the protagonists of the third industrial revolution.” After all, food is energy for life and today both food and energy production are the two most unsustainable systems humans have created on this planet. One of the reasons for this unsustainability is that we have sought to centralize something which, in nature and by its very nature, is diffused.

For example, our current main energy sources, like oil, coal and uranium, are found only in very specific places in the world. Large infrastructures have had to be constructed to extract, protect and distribute them. Plus they are exhaustible, polluting and very expensive. The same applies to food: The current system, based on the excessive power of a few big multinationals, centralizes seeds, monocultures, livestock farming and processing plants, then distributes food around the planet. We are well aware of the resulting health, economic, social and ecological consequences.

Meanwhile, local food, like renewable sources of energy such as the sun, wind and water, can potentially be found everywhere on the planet, in every cultivable square meter. This is the main parallel: We must move from highly centralized systems to diffused, local and democratic systems.

This is why the Terra Madre communities and the Slow Food convivia can become the driving forces of this third revolution. This is why we represent the vanguard that Rifkin did not hesitate to say would help to finish “man's “war against nature.”
We look to the past, but we are projecting ourselves into the future: Few people in the world can say that they have this strength.

Carlo Petrini
Slow Food President


Click here for an excerpt from Carlo Petrini’s interview with Jeremy Rifkin.

 



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CALENDAR

Terra Madre Argentina
Buenos Airies, Argentina
July 8-11, 2010

Terra Madre Balkans
Sofia, Bulgaria
July 8-10, 2010

Janecka Vecer
Mavrovo National Park, Macedonia
July 26 - 27 2010

Terra Madre Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia
July 30-31, 2010

Terra Madre Azerbaijan
Ismailli region, Shemaha
August 5, 2010

Terra Madre Kazakhstan
Alma Aty, Kazakhstan
September 2, 2010

Waterford Harvest Festival
Waterford, Ireland
September 10 – 19, 2010

Salone del Gusto
Turin, Italy
October 21 -25, 2010

Terra Madre
Turin, Italy
October 21 -25, 2010

Terra Madre Day
International
December 10, 2010

 
 
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Slow Food and
Terra Madre
in figures


Members: 100,000
Convivia: 1,300
Countries: 150
Presidia: 314
Ark of Taste products: 903
Earth Markets: 10
School gardens: 300
 
 



 
  This newsletter is produced by the Slow Food International Communications office
 Bess Mucke: b.mucke@slowfood.com -  Michèle Mesmain: m.mesmain@slowfood.com
For all membership questions, please contact the International Service Centre servicecentre@slowfood.com
To unsuscribe, please send a mail to communication@slowfood.com with "unsubscribe" as a subject.