Terra Madre Kicks Off in Turin

(German Youth leader Pavlos makes the NY Times!)

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/22/terra-madre-kicks-off-in-turin/

The Palasport Olimpico, built for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, saw the opening ceremony of another sort of worldwide delegation on Thursday: Terra Madre 2010. Instead of athletes, there were farmers, fishermen and artisanal food producers, along with other sustainable food idealists (young and royalty alike) — from Pavlos Georgiadis, a student from Thrace, Greece, who helped create an edible garden at his university in Stuttgart, Germany, to Alice Waters.

The biennial meet-up of the world’s food communities is what Sergio Chiamparino, the mayor of Turin,  calls the “constructive folly” of Carlo Petrini, the president and founder of Slow Food International, the movement responsible for Terra Madre and the incessant promoter of the pleasures of good, clean and fair food. It’s folly for the sheer audacity of the concept: This year’s Terra Madre, the fourth, is the largest yet, with 4,000 attendees representing more than 150 countries. (On Wednesday, the Palasport Olimpico entrance bore a striking resemblance to an international airport terminal, with the just-arrived, semi-dazed-looking attendees in traditional costume rolling around their suitcases.) And it’s constructive because of the exchange of ideas, both concrete — there will be 70 workshops touching on topics like native wools and biodiversity — to the more ephemeral. “Slow Food is like a river, going up and down,” says Georgiadis. “It’s down when we’re all working in our own countries silently. Now it’s up since we’re all meeting together.”

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