Slow 45

Hot off the press, Slow 45 opens with a feature about Slow Food’s ‘Naples week’ last November, when the movement celebrated both itself at its International Congress, and meritorious defenders of biodiversity, with the presentation of the Slow Food Award 2003 to men and women from all five continents. This sequence of images, stories and reflections opens with an article by Carlo Petrini, in which the founder and president of Slow Food stakes out the road to the future for the association. Meaning increased presence everywhere, increased awareness and commitment to variety and biodiversity Plus, of course, enjoyment and pleasure.

Which happens to be the exact opposite of the stories recounted in the ‘Eating Badly’ section that follows. From Australia to the Faeroe Islands, from Germany to Great Britain, a long catalogue of experiences of bad taste, mostly to be forgotten but not always. As Barbara Santich, Manfred Kriener, Matthew Fort and others explain, pong is invariably a prelude to gastro-horror. After all, the relativity of the concepts of good and bad wasn’t discovered yesterday.

Not that modest ingredients always mean poor flavor. Take the humble turnip, for example. For many centuries it was a staple of the peasant diet, only to be neglected for many more. Today, though, it seems to be enjoying something of a revival. Not only in Italy, where Liguria’s Caprauna Turnip has become a Slow Food Presidium, but also in France with the navet de Pardailhan, and in Japan where, it would seem, the varieties are endless.

Speaking about Japan, this number marks Slow’s first official appearance in the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, bringing the total of foreign-language editions to five. To mark the event, it kick off with a delightful story of oil and rice by Banana Yoshimoto, the Japanese writer who has sold millions of books all over the world.

The central series of contributions about sustainable agricultural and food production —coordinated by Carla Barzanò and opened by an article by Renate Künast, federal minister for consumer protection, food and agriculture—are the fallout of a conference held in Germany recently.

As always, we believe there’s a lot for the reader to enjoy and learn here. We hope our members agree!

Giovanni Ruffa is the editor of the Italian edition of Slow

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