Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto – Food for Change – the global meeting of the Slow Food and Terra Madre network, held every two years in Turin, Italy. Seven thousand delegates coming together to share the joy of good food and to change the world around us for the better. I was there. Here are six reasons why you need to go.

    1.It is fun and delicious, 2.Get close up and personal with what is driving Slow Food forward, 3.Time to immerse yourself, to learn and to think – we can change the world through food, 4.Meet and network with amazing people, 5.Experience the power, commitment and influence of Slow Food. 6.Meet great people from Aotearoa/New Zealand – we are everywhere.

Together, we can change the world through food and create a climate friendly future.

1. Fun and delicious – good, ethical food is everywhere at Terra Madre. I spent hours exploring and tasting in the three pavilions of regional Italian food including including Ark of Taste and Presidia products and just as much time in the international pavilion and the Terra Madre Kitchen. I loved my dinner with the two Michelin start chef, Moreno Cedroni – a seafood degustation menu matched with wines from Jesi. And some very fun company.

2. Get close up and personal with what is driving Slow Food forward – the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean,fair food for all centres on “good for the planet” – bringing food and climate change to the top of our agenda. Creating a climate friendly future means prioritising  openness and inclusion and creating collaboration platforms. The solution to climate change will be found together. A living example is the creation of Slow Food Communities to embrace new and existing groups that share our values.

3. Time to immerse yourself, to learn and to think – among the forums, debates, lectures and classes that address what is important. They featured first class presenters and activists who challenged our thinking and championed the power of community. With a focus on Food for Change. the 2018 event had six key themes – Slow Meat, Slow Fish, Seeds, Bees and Insects, Food and Heath – each running a full programme of events.

So, here is taste of what I loved (and love was everywhere).

I took inspiration from John Thakara and his focus on working with signals of re-connection and the power seemingly small projects have to create change – small can be beautiful. Check out Mammamiaaa.

As a reasonably new pescatarian, I was initially surprised I had so much interest in the Slow Meat theme – but this is where some big discussions were happening – exploring vegetarian and vegan choices, the need to eat less meat and better meat, meeting with farmers and activists who are driving change and the tragedy of industrialised versus agricultural meat production for us, for the animals and for the planet.

Slow Money founded by Woody Tasch is “slowly” building a movement that supports the next generation of farmers and food entrepreneurs. The subject of risk was turned on its head when a young farmer challenged our thinking – she was very clear that it is the farmers who are taking the risk every day to produce our food and literally have everything to lose.

4. Meet and network with amazing people and make important connections – the full spectrum of the Slow Food network is here and meeting them is easy – all it takes is some intention and focus and to let serendipity do its work. The Slow Food Youth Network were keen to talk to us all and make sure  we “got it”. Our Australian and New Zealand region came together and we have some exciting collaboration planned. I went with the intention of creating connections and support for the work of Slow Food in Auckland and New Zealand and I got that 1000 fold.

5. Experience the power, commitment and influence of the Slow Food Movement – at Terra Madre you get to experience the full scope of Slow Food including the voices of Indigenous Peoples, Migrants and Youth. The 21st century partnerships and collaborations including Google and AirBnB were there to explore and our supporters and partners were active participants including EU and UN FAO projects.

6. Meet great people from Aotearoa/New Zealand – let’s be there as a country in 2020 – of course I ran into other Kiwis and we are excited to tell our food stories. We want to engage lots more people in the joy and the challenges that come with food – at home and with our Terra Madre family. We loved how the Philippines (among many others) told their food story and in 2020 we want to tell ours!

Food,for Change, Slow Food, Terra madre