Today marks the start of the 10th Slow Food International Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto biennial conference in Turin, Italy.
I’ve been a member of Slow Food International since 2005. I served on the board of our local chapter/convivium for six years. I helped develop a little booklet called The Snail Trail to connect local consumers with local producers of good, clean and fair food and I ran Feast of Fields five times in support of the same objective. I’ve done taste workshops in schools and talks at public libraries. I’ve taken bus loads of people to local farms and raised moola to send farmers and chefs to this amazing conference in Italy.
But wait, you are probably thinking slow food is something that comes out of a crockpot slow cooker… want to know what it really is and why I care so much about it?
This video will very succinctly fill you in.
Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, is a real hero of mine. He was named one of the 50 people most likely to save the planet in an article by The Guardian. If you watched the video above you’ll have noticed that what he started with a few caring people has grown into a movement of millions of people on this planet.
When people ask me why Calgary has such a great food scene I always count the fact that we’ve had a Slow Food Convivium since 2002 in my top five reasons. The first edition of The Snail Trail was a list of 40 farmers that I photocopied and handed out at Feast of Fields. Now it’s a beautiful booklet and a web directory of 150 Alberta farmers. I believe The Snail Trail has had an amazing impact on consumers – especially our local chefs.
I salute all my friends in Calgary that have been to Terra Madre. They came back to make a difference at home. I salute my friends from across Alberta that are there now. I look forward to hearing all your stories at the traditional Tales from Terra Madre Slow Food Calgary event in November. This year’s theme of family farming is perfectly in sync with the United Nations FAO International Year of the Family Farm and I’ll be waiting to hear what momentum Slow Food will give to the growing awareness of the plight of family farms.
You don’t have to join Slow Food to come to that event but if you do, you’ll be supporting one of the most positive organizations in the world. The world can always use more of us snails.