Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Their Own Words: Terra Madre 2010

Shannon Jasie and Sofia
Ramos in Turino, Italy
Sofia Ramos summarizes her experience at Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto.     "Out of all the things I learned and experienced during my time at Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, I think the event that impacted me the most was the opening ceremony. Other people would say the closing ceremony was better, but I didn’t make it there because I was in Milan and Lake Como for the weekend. However, the amount of people who were there amazed me; I couldn’t wrap my head around how many people were so passionate about sustainable food and lifestyles. On top of that, it was incredible to see so many different ethnicities represented in one city in one weekend. I liked listening to the different speakers and their opinions and views about the modern food systems and how their countries have been affected. It was my first time hearing Carlo Petrini speak, and he gave the audience advice on ways to change our eating and lifestyle choices; much of which I have heard before.      
                The conference I attended focused on issues regarding GMO’s and family living. It was not what I expected, but it was interesting because many people stood up and shared opinions and things they were doing to make steps towards better agriculture. Topics discussed were the importance of family farms, heritage seeds, and safer biodiversity. Again, most of the things I heard were about what is going wrong in our food system, and less about the ways we can overcome long-term environmental damage and health risks related to cross-pollination and pesticide use. I was glad I attended because there were many different countries represented, and they all had similar things to say. At Salone del Gusto I got to try many things, including Iberian Ham from Spain and other cured meats; which I am very interested in. The best food and liveliest section for me was the street food area, because all the young people were there and we were able to try very typical foods from other places we wouldn’t normally visit. I tried baklava from Turkey and vegetable dumplings from an Asian place I can’t remember... oops.
Overall, my experience was a very positive one, it was exciting to be around so many people my age being there for the same reasons. I learned a lot about cuisines and specialties from different countries, along with many new products from regions in Italy as well. The only negative feedback I have is that Terra Madre and Salone could have been less exclusive. This is mainly because the resources and energy used to make this world event happen kind of goes against the basic principles of sustainability.  But anyways, Italy is AWESOME so far. "

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