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Words That Change the World
Press Release - Conference themes include the future, agriculture, sustainability, health

A total of 49 conferences and meetings will be open to the public at this year’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, providing forums for discussing the future of the planet and the importance of our everyday choices. The leading protagonists of this edition, the food communities, will be making a major contribution, offering their advice on how to get out of the current crisis and safeguard traditional knowledge. We’ll hear from young Africans about the challenges they face in “The Africans’ Africa” (http://bit.ly/Orde6s), discuss food sovereignty and the protection of cultural identity with Mirna Cunningham of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in “Indigenous Peoples and Local Food Sovereignty” (http://bit.ly/PzjzuX) and tackle the issue of the right to freedom from hunger, ratified by the United Nations over 45 years ago but still far from guaranteed for much of the world’s population in “Enforcing the Right to Food: How?” (http://bit.ly/SaNJBF).

Many of the conferences will offer a snapshot of the state of our planet, such as “Get Your Forks Out of the Forest!” (http://bit.ly/SSnTCB) with Vandana Shiva, founder of the Navdanya organization; “Green Economy: The Only Solution” (http://bit.ly/PqTN9C), which will look at how to change the current economic and production system; and “Hungry for Land” (http://bit.ly/P87J7b), which will analyze the land-grabbing phenomenon and how to fight its spread. There will also be reflections on animal welfare as protection for producers and consumers, the future of the bees and the need to save the landscape and protect the oceans.
As always, there will be a particular emphasis on younger generations. In “Say, Do, Hoe: Practices and Policies for Youth Agriculture” (http://bit.ly/SnvVmn) young people will be putting forward suggestions for Common Agricultural Policy reform. The international Slow Food Youth Network will be meeting in Turin, bringing together hundreds of activists from all over the world. Food as a tool for teaching children the values we need to live together on this planet will be explored in “The Grassroots of the Revolution: Edible Education” (http://bit.ly/QWhXJB) with American chef Alice Waters.

Meetings dedicated to the relationship between food, health and our lifestyles include “Climate at the Table” (http://bit.ly/OWEtWp), with good practices for limiting the impact of food on the planet from climatologist Luca Mercalli, and “Healthy Pleasures” (http://bit.ly/Sn4NIy), concluding a Slow Food education campaign targeting 14 Italian cities and launched last January.
And there’s more: “How Much ‘Non-Food’ Do We Eat?” (http://bit.ly/QpuYhB) reflects on foods that are technology-rich but poor in flavor and nutrition, “Plant a Garden and Change the World” (http://bit.ly/Qpv6h5) has practical tips on creating a food garden in the city while “Food on TV: Style or Substance?” (http://bit.ly/Sn4Wvy) examines the implicit messages broadcast by reality cooking shows and celebrity chefs.

The Biodiversity House at the Oval
A space to enrich the mind and the senses
An extraordinary variety of plant species and animal breeds will be represented in the Oval, and with them the material culture and identities of many different peoples, all protected by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. Visitors can satisfy their palates’ curiosity and also enrich their knowledge, with a constant stream of sensory experiences from the products in the international Marketplace and in-depth analysis at the meetings organized in the Biodiversity House. In this space, run by the Slow Food Foundation, scientific expertise will meet the ancestral knowledge of the Presidia producers and Terra Madre food communities.

The rich program of events will place particular emphasis on new developments in the Slow Food Presidia, presenting the latest Italian additions to the project, like the black chickpea from Puglia’s Murgia Carsica or Siccagno tomatoes from Sicily’s Upper Belìce Valley. In Switzerland, 22 Presidia, established by the national association with the support of Coop Switzerland, are now allowed to use the Slow Food Presidium logo on their labels. The first examples of narrative labels for selected Italian and international Presidia will be introduced in “Say It on the Label” (http://bit.ly/Uj9JMi). Narrative labels offer absolute transparency in food communication, helping consumers to make the best possible choices: a small but significant revolution.

Networks of small-scale food producers are at the heart of the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, often supported by technological networks adapted to the needs of producers. At the meeting “Raw Milk in the Tropics: A Challenge” (http://bit.ly/QdCf0m) cheesemakers from Brazil, Burkina Faso and South Africa will meet to discuss the problems and successes of raw-milk cheese production in countries with a hot climate, offering tastings of their truly heroic products. In “How Radio, Social Networks and Cell Phones Can Support Agriculture Projects” (http://bit.ly/SCC9o6), we’ll hear about initiatives from Italian foundations who are working to plant food gardens and develop multimedia tools, bringing together young African and Italian students along the way. One of the conferences on a similar theme, “Click! Agriculture” (http://bit.ly/SaQS4w), will present the partnership between Slow Food and Grow the Planet, the first social network uniting sustainable food growers around the world.

The heroic adventures of young people who have returned to the land will be recounted at the meeting “A New Return to the Land” (http://bit.ly/PqW2Kh) with many stories from the project Torino e le Alpi, which aims to help younger generations return to forgotten trades in marginalized but biodiverse areas, supported by experienced producers willing to share their knowledge.
Details of the program and entrance tickets are available here: http://salonedelgustoterramadre.slowfood.com/

For the first time, Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre merge to create a single event that will be held on October 25-29, 2012 in Turin, Italy. The biennial event organized by Slow Food, the City of Turin and the Region of Piedmont in collaboration with the Italian Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, will display the extraordinary diversity of food from all continents and unite small-scale farmers and artisans from around the world who follow the principles of good, clean and fair.

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