The words of politicians, indigenous peoples, migrants, and young people open the most important international event dedicated to food
This is the motto that appears in all of the speeches made at this morning’s official launch for Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018.
The inauguration began with politicians, public figures from the highest institutions who have the task of defining and directing trends in production at all levels.
Speakers included the Mayor of Turin, Chiara Appendino; the Councillor for Agriculture of the Piedmont Region, Giorgio Ferrero; the European Commissioner for Health and Safety, Vyrtenis Andriukaitis; and the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Gian Marco Centinaio.
All of them highlighted the many challenges that the world of food faces at a global level. The scarcity of food in some areas of the planet, the effects of climate change, meat consumption, the relationship between tradition and innovation: these are the issues with which every critical mind must come to terms with.
The presence of a European Commissioner was the indisputable sign of the gravitas of the topic, and the importance that food has increasingly come to acquire, as far as our health is concerned, and consequently for governments facing the relative expenses. Sustainability at all levels, from environmental, to social, to economic, must be the basis for preserving the environment and our health. According to Andriukaitis, “Slow Food is major actor in keeping people healthy”.
Carlo Petrini took the stand with a strong message in the current global political climate: “Food is not uniform; on the contrary, its diversity is very strong. And the challenges that we face relate to the climate and the environment.Global greenhouse gas emissions are counted at 34% by agriculture and livestock while transport contributes as much as 17%. Our eating habits have an impact and will play a part in reducing this effect. For meat, Slow Food will launch a campaign throughout Europe and the United States to reduce meat consumption by at least 50%, not only because of greenhouse gas emissions but for our health. In the past, Italy consumed 22 kilos of meat per capita per year. Today we consume over 90 kilos. In the USA, 120 kilos. The challenges relating to food can no longer be reduced to national challenges: They are global challenges, pushing us to think, to reason. Reasoning about food in isolation is not good. Everything is connected, and this represents the great challenge of politics today: to see the connections”.
“But, without any doubt, we know that we can win”.
Meanwhile, in another part of the Lingotto Fiere complex, the Arena was also opened and inaugurated.The Arena at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto brings together three very different and internally diverse groups, united by the very difference that sets them apart from the rest: the Indigenous Terra Madre network (ITM), the migrant network, and the youth network (SFYN).
The common thread between them is a powerful link, that is felt no matter how varied the context. No matter where in the world, indigenous peoples so often share the same challenges and hurdles, for many of the same reasons, and as a result many indigenous peoples share similar experiences, despite the contrasts between them. The same goes for migrants and likewise youth, although the setting and the individual circumstances change, experiences mirror each other among migrant groups and among youth around the planet. The Arena is a space of discussion and learning, affording a voice to three groups who are so often silenced in today’s world. At the Arena, they talk, we listen.
The city of Turin, capital of Piedmont, is offering hospitality to 7000 Terra Madre delegates, a moment of joy and sharing, that will 900 events take place throughout the city, from Thursday through to Monday. The Street Kitchens at Lingotto and the Food Trucks in Piazza Castello will be open until midnight, from tomorrow, hundreds of teachers from the world’s academic community will discuss the project of the University, while the public and delegates of the Slow Food network in the five thematic areas #foodforchange will try to find solutions to change for the better, through food, ourselves and the world around us.