Slow Food vs. Landgrabs

Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food, speaks about the manifesto on climate change and food security, Central and Eastern Europe, and the “real socialism’s” heritage in this region. Petrini focused on the manifesto’s eighth point, knowledge transition for climate adaptation.

“This is the central point, the most important cultural and political point,” he stated. “Virtuous practices already exist in the cultural biodiversity of the farmers of the world. They have extraordinary knowledge and there must be a dialog with official science, an honest, frank and sincere dialog as equals.”

The manifesto is based upon the strong link between climate change and agriculture, drawing attention to the contribution to the problem by the industrial globalized food system and the potential to mitigate it by adapting to ecological and organic farming.

In the wake of Terra Madre – a meeting of the world’s food communities in Turin Italy – this year, the focus will still be mitigation and adaptation to climate change effects. The “UN of peasantry” became more and more activist and radical the ideas that it is conveying since 2004. Since in its early days Slow Food was aiming at saving seeds and changing approaches to gastronomy. Nowadays, social justice, local development and climate change are at the center of the preoccupations related to traditional food production. Eastern European food communities, at their turn, have to face climate change effects (seed protection, droughts, an invasive market, and stupid EU hygiene-ism).

Indian scientist and activist Vandana Shiva, founder of NGO Navdanya, author of the fantastic book “Earth Democracy”, and vice-president of Slow Food International, elaborated on each of the manifesto’s nine points, providing a passionate summary of its principles, reads a Terra Madre press release. Shiva argues that as 35 percent of the climate change crisis comes from agriculture, therefore 35 percent of the solution also lies in farming and food and that we must look seriously at this vital component in analyzes of climate change and discussions of possible solutions.

She argues that we must return to sustainable, local, bio-diverse systems that are better adapted to dealing with the cyclones and floods created by climate change, as well as contributing to cleaner air and water and better food.

Download the Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security in five languages here,

I made this video almost a year ago for my website I had breakfast with Carlo Petrini at the end of Terra Madre in 2008; I couldn’t tell how inspiring he was, but I sure can swear I had the fun of my life.