Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement spoke to a standing room only crowd of hundreds of food activists, farmers, chefs, food processors, and Slow “foodies” from the United States, who were gathered at a workshop as part of Terra Madre, Slow Food International’s annual conference. The workshop brought together many of the Slow Food communities working in the U.S.—from school gardens that are supplying students with organic food to projects that are helping “bodegas” and corner stores in urban areas, carry more fresh, locally-grown produce.
Petrini said he was “impressed by the growth of the Slow Food movement in the U.S.,” calling it the “greatest peaceful army in the world.” He noted that the Kentucky farmer-poet, Wendell Berry, who famously said ‘eating is an agricultural act,’ “understood things much earlier than the rest of us.” Petrini said that the U.S. started as a country “based on the land and hopefully is going back to the land,” with the growing interest in organic and locally grown foods, not only in places like New York and California, but also in the Midwest and Southern U.S.
Petrini also called for farmers at the event to partner with farms in Africa, sharing ideas and innovations, as part of Slow Food International’s commitment to help start 1,000 gardens in Africa in 2011.
Stay tuned for more from Slow Food International’s Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto event in Turin, Italy.