Terra Madre Salone del Gusto: the unmissable events in February

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s certainly not short on events and opportunities to explore our food, our planet, our future. 

terra madre salone del gusto

February 1-14: On My Plate Challenge – Clean 

Industrial farming, distribution and packing, commerce and food waste have a negative impact on the environment. Choosing food that’s sustainable can help to reduce pollution and emissions. Changing our food habits even a little can really contribute to saving the world. We’ll explore the issue during two weeks dedicated to clean food, as part of the On My Plate challenge. 

In the first week we’ll learn how seasonality, proximity, quality in farming, agroecological models and sustainable packaging can make a difference. In the second week, with small actions we’ll see how easy it is to choose clean food and reduce our footprint. 

February 5: The Health of Planet and People 

Slow Food launches a new position paper on food and health, aiming to answer some of the big questions of our age. Can we deal with malnutrition by protecting and promoting biodiversity? Will biodiversity help us preserve the health of ecosystems? What role can politics play in promoting sustainable food systems? 

February 10: Pulses, Food of the Future 

Pulses are a humble, simple food, and this is one the reasons people don’t always appreciate their enormous potential. There’s a great future for these magnificent plants, whose beneficial properties are undisputed. Pulses don’t just have nutritional value, thanks to their high level of proteins and other essential nutrients; they also help keep the soil fertile by fixing nitrogen. On World Pulses Day, the Slow Beans network discusses cultivation techniques and how they’re promoting these products. 

February 15-28: On My Plate Challenge – Fair 

Fair food is food that respects workers. Unfortunately we still see forms of modern slavery are all too common, a disgrace to humanity. Asking where our food comes from means asking if the people who worked to produce it and bring it to our table have been fairly paid. If their rights have been respected. We have to think about what role we want to have in our society. 

In the weeks dedicated to fair food we’ll tackle themes like illegal employment practices, we’ll investigate the value chains of chocolate and coffee, and the exploitation of workers in the fishing industry. In the second week we’ll help you fill a shopping basket that’s slavery-free! 

February 19: Soil and food: No–soil tomatoes and lab-grown meat 

Will food of the future be produced in labs? Will we resolve the problems of world hunger and sustainability by doing away with the soil altogether? Among the world’s largest exporters of fresh tomatoes is the Netherlands, which has no historic culture tied to the fruit. The secret lies in systems and technologies that can grow food with no need for soil or sunshine.  

In the meantime, corporations like Cargill and Tyson are undertaking R&D aimed at growing meat in laboratories without any livestock. Is this the future of food? Will technology feed a constantly growing population with lab-made food? Is this the response to reduced soil fertility: to do away with the soil altogether?  

February 19: Terra Madre Philippines – From Buli Palm Tree to Landang 

Landang is a tapioca product made from native palm flour and present in the Ark of Taste catalogue. The production process, done by hand, requires several skilled people and 5-7 days to complete. Hungry civilians creaed Landang as a wartime food, but nowadays, the future of the plant is uncertain. Construction workers are cutting down the Buli forests to facilitate the construction of shopping malls. 

The main purpose of this event is to educate the audience about the Slow Food Ark of Taste project. In particular, we’ll learn more about Landang and the Buli Tree. 

February 21: Pastoralism: Protecting Traditions and Biodiversity 

A forum to raise public awareness of nomadic lifestyles. We highlight the best practices to promote food biodiversity,r the role of nomadic populations in land management and soil conservation. 

We’ll share the best practices that can inspire other indigenous pastoral communities. Representatives from Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Iran, Mongolia and Turtle Island discuss the theme together with experts from around the world. 

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