10 Words that Change the World

At the opening ceremony of the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, speakers from Alice Waters to Vandana Shiva and FAO Director José Graziano Da Silva interpreted the key words of the event – earth, seeds, water, education, biodiversity and more – in front of a packed auditorium of thousands of representatives of Slow Food and Terra Madre food communities from around the world.

“Terra Madre is the celebration of diversity. Of languages, cultures, colors and tastes. Diversity is essential for food security and the importance of food in our lives is clear… There was a time when humans used tens of thousands of vegetables, cereals but today we rely on just a few cereals. But now is not the time to complain. We must focus on going forward and promoting sustainable models.”
José Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the FAO

“Life renews in seeds. Food begins with seeds. In India the word for seeds means ‘that from which life arises’. Today, the very source of life is being appropriated and privatized. A seed by its very nature gives. This apple seed doesn’t say “give me a royalty or I won’t give you the apple.” Seeds give back and that’s a problem for greed. A seed is not invented; it is millions of years of evolution, thousands of years of breeding. Every patent on a seed is a theft, it is biopiracy.”
Vandana Shiva, president and founder of Navdanya

“Pleasure and justice must go hand in hand. The power of Slow Food is connecting the two. Pleasure and taste bring people together, bring people back to the table, establishing a new relationship with food and each other. In schools we can reach all children, and if we feed all children delicious wholesome sustainable food it can become a right for all and not just a privilege. We know the unrelenting forces of fast food nation are indoctrinating our children, and that’s why we need the universal and very-possible solution of an edible education.”
Alice Waters, chef and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project

“Today we are here as one big family to celebrate what was started 20 years ago. What we have built takes dedication, time and working and thinking together. In Uganda we have managed to connect farmers, volunteers, traders, cooks, journalists, local leader, consumers, schools and so on to defend our agri-biodiversity, culinary traditions and values. A sustainable food chain necessarily involves many stakeholders and to defend it we must stay connected and continue building the Slow Food and Terra Madre network.”
Edward Mukiibi, Slow Food Mukono, Coordinator of Thousand Gardens in Africa project in Uganda

“The earth has always been violated, misused and mistreated, but its voice never stops talking to us with passion. We love our earth, it’s the only thing that truly exists, producing baskets of sacred food that end up on tables of the world. The earth can be a huge wonderful garden, where we harvest the ideas of human knowledge. With respect, determination and creativity, this immense knowledge can ensure the earth offers not only the daily bread, but gives rise to dignity, freedom, quality, joy, for all living creatures.”
Carlos Vanegas Valdebenito, CET Expo Movil, Chile

“If we managed to cut total food loss and waste by half we would have enough food to feed one billion more people, without having to increase production and without placing additional pressure on national resources… With hunger, the only number acceptable is zero.”
José Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the FAO

“Water arrived on earth bringing us the gift of life. We, human beings, are organized water. Soil absorbs water as if a treasure, nourishing the countless other crops of the world’s biodiversity. Streams and rivers cross continents, finally reaching seas and lakes, and offer us resources. But once polluted, water is no longer a source of life but a carrier of poisons that cause diseases and kill. We can bring back life and ensure the source of life is pure again by cleaning up environments.”
Carmen Martinez, Coordinator of Slow Food Amaranth Presidium, Mexico

“Following the nuclear incident in our area and the resulting very high level of radiation, we have been looking for ways for food producers to save their land and products from the contamination. Nuclear policy could radically destroy principles at the basis of the Slow Food movement and we believe it is necessary to promote the use of alternative energies. It doesn’t make sense to use energy sources with high potential to pollute our environment and which destroys connections between people and food, life and our precious land.”
Yoko Sudo, Slow Food Fukushima, Japan 

“In my region, the Balkan cultural and food biodiversity is the result of the wide variety of traditional agricultural practices and gastronomic heritages. The region is home to many old breeds and plant varieties. Facing globalization, intensification and industrialization of agriculture, demand has risen for animal products and livestock development, concentrated on very small number of breeds. This is something very very dangerous. Safeguarding rare breeds is also a tool for ensuring the future of communities. Only in this way and only together can we preserve agrobiodiversity for future generation and save these valuable genes.”
Ivanov Sergez, Stara Planina breeders food community, Serbia

“In these years, Terra Madre has been observed with curiosity, seen in terms of anthropology, folklore. No. This reality must be seen as a big political phenomenon. The politics of Terra Madre will come with serenity and celebration…This crisis won’t be overcome with sadness. At Terra Madre, politics has taken joy by the hand.”
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food International founder and president

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