Putting the Central Role of Food into Action

Stone pressed and fermented cabbage, delightfully good!

This week the “Central Role of Food” was adopted as Slow Food International’s guiding document. It presses global membership to focus on 5 key priorities (soil fertility, clean water, clean air, biodiversity, human health, memory and traditional knowledge, and pleasure and social relations) and 4 specific calls to commitment:

1)   Return to the Land. As they say in Italy, “siamo tutti contadini.” “We are all farmers.”

  • If you can, farm.
  • If you can, garden.
  • Demand that your political representatives make choices and implement policies that support land preservation for growing safe food.
  • Last but not least, be responsible in the foods and products that you buy; be a farmer deep inside.

2)   Fight a War on Waste. By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the earth. Today, there are 7 billion. We produce enough food for 12 billion! 40% of all food is wasted without even getting near the table.  Shocking numbers but there is a lot we can do.

  • Don’t buy what you won’t eat.
  • Preserve for later what you can’t eat now.
  • Don’t be so picky about what you’ll accept.
  • We should be directing food production for eating, not for biofuel.

3)   Support the Local Economy and Participate in Democracy. Those of us who live here care most about what happens here. We know our land, water and air – warts and all. We are in the best position to take care of it. It also helps to build our own identity and affirm our community.

  • Be virtuous in your choices.
  • Help producers to be gratified and fairly paid.
  • Save native animals and plants to protect biodiversity.
  • Don’t be a passive eater!

4)   Enforce Permanent Education. Behaviours will not change if we don’t teach the importance and means of improvement. Complexity and connection are forefront. Facts and feelings are not juxtaposed.

  • Everybody educates everybody. Be open to receiving and open to sharing.
  • Question messages; make sure they align with your own values.
  • Teach by doing.
  • Learn by tasting, observing and growing.
  • Organize a Taste Workshop (all the tools you need are on the Slow Food website!)

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