RURAL Press journalist Matthew Cawood argues in his ‘Out here‘ column in this week’s Victorian Stock & Land that Slow Food’s Terra Madre world food commmunities’ meeting and Salone del Gusto artisan food fair in Italy last month demonstrate the economic and social value of ‘small food’. He questions if Australia can incorporate ‘alternative’ agriculture into national farm policy to encourage the development of other-than-commodity farm products. ‘The possibilities of small-scale, high-quality food and fibre production are large: greater diversification of land use, more return per hectare, more people on the land, more jobs, a broader base for agricultural produce,’ Matthew writes. It would be a mistake, he says, for agricultural policy to continue to be geared only to commodity-orientated food production.
SLOW Food Perth’s Dec 2008 – Jan 2009 edition of Helix aspersa includes a fascinating article on Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto – the world’s fair of artisan foods – and Terra Madre, held in the Italian city of Turin in Oct 2008; an Italian farm co-operative’s mission to deliver fresh, unpasteurised ‘milk-on-tap’; and a Nannup farmer’s quest to discover the origins and influence of the amazing olive.
2008 Dec – Jan 2009 edition / PDF / index / word picture: elizabeth david / a brimming bowl of ‘small, slow food’: pauline tresise at terra madre and salone del gusto 2008 / bellissimo! vincenzo velletri cooks for australia’s terra madre delegation / riso della baraggia: the piedmont’s well-watered cereal / milk-on-tap: italian lessons for australian kids / golden oil: a taste of the olive’s magic / rottnest honey all the buzz / reluctant gardeners out-googled by goddess nigella / good news for western verge bandicoots
IN ‘Food is sacred’, a lecture presented on the closing day of Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre 2008, the presenters included Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, Satish Kumar, former Jain monk and director of education at the Schumacher College in the United Kingdom and founder and editor of Resurgence environmental magazine, and Enzo Bianchi, who studied economics before establishing a monastic priory, The Community of Bose in Italy. All of these spoke passionately about the sacredness of food and how sad it is to see that food had become such a commodity. Carlo Petrini singled out the works of Ivan Ilich, who wrote The Tools of Conviviality.