Edible Columbus Spring 2011 : Page 45

If someone asked me how I could help the world, my answer would be to attain wellness and joy through fresh and delicious food. Thankfully, the Slow Food movement is on the task. Food in conversation. It is a badge of credibility. Slow Food is deeply woven into the fiber of Italian culture. Troy and I are energized as we train to Slow Food headquarters on a wet and blustery day. Paola Nano, press office coordinator, awaits us in the station. She welcomes us by taking us to her favorite coffee spot. We enjoy conversation as we sip strong cappuccinos and gobble up marron glacés (candied chestnuts). Now this is how to start a meeting. SINCE ITS BEGINNINGS, SLOW FOOD HAS MADE GREAT STRIDES. SOME OF THEIR INITIATIVES INCLUDE: Publishing over 70 food/wine guides, essays and cookbooks as well as websites, member magazines and newsletters Facilitating Terra Madre, Salone de Gusto, Cheese and Slow Fish events to promote tasting, education and global networks of food professionals Creating the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity to promote sustainable agriculture with respect to the environment, cultural identity and animal warfare Terra Madre Day created to raise funds for 1,000 gardens in Africa Food Education— 1,300 projects, 350 school gardens, taste workshops and school canteens to improve food for children The Ark of Taste— Catalog of over 700 products in 52 countries that are facing extinction and enlisting Slow Food Presidia projects to preserve endangered growing methods, products and traditions Slow Food International is a powerful nonprofit association on a mission to spread the pleasure of food, preserve local Next Paola takes us to traditions and demand see the site of the original good, clean and fair Slow Food offices (now food around the world. containing the Slow Food Founded in 1986 by restaurant). Seeing the Carlo Petrini, it includes arch of where Slow Food 100,000 members in originated sparks my 130 countries. The Slow inspiration. Food International office is headquartered Paola proceeds to take us Outside the Slow Food International offices in the arch in the small town of to her current office, just with details on the origins of Slow Food. Bra (outside of Torino, down the street from the Italy) and employs 150 people. (There is also a original office. We open the doors to see Paola’s Slow Food USA and a Slow Food Columbus, young, energetic colleagues tapping away on among many other local allies.) keyboards. Pride is in the air. Slow Food pursues its goals through worldwide membership, publications, events and targeted projects. All combined, this adds up to a lofty undertaking—and I am proud to see it up close. As my husband, Troy, and I spend 10 weeks in Northern Italy on a quest for the best food in the world, we are happy to make Slow Food part of our trip. Nearly every farmer, cheese maker, vintner, chef and food enthusiast we encounter mentions Slow We chat about the important work that Slow Food is doing around the world including one of their largest events, Terra Madre. Terra Madre is a biannual global event that brings together food producers and professionals to share knowledge and gain a voice. This event is intended to promote good, clean and fair food throughout the world by creating an international network of food communities that practice what they preach.

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