Terra Madre festival & Youth Food Movement (YFM): In search of a participatory economic model that safeguards culture, diversity and the environment – Meghalaya

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On November 3 [2015], delegates and dignitaries from around the world arrived at North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Meghalaya, India to the sound of traditional drums. Many arrived dressed in the traditional costume of their communities, from the Sami of northern Sweden, the host community of the previous edition of Indigenous Terra Madre, in blue dresses patterned with decorative embroidery to the local Khasi community in distinctive plaid silk shawls. Overall, just over 600 delegates have arrived from every corner of the world to participate in Indigenous Terra Madre, including representatives from over 100 different tribes and ethnic groups in 58 different countries. This was just one aspect of diversity on display at the opening ceremony, which also featured typical songs and dances of North East India throughout the afternoon, including the debut of the Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 theme song, “Ko Mai-Ramew,” written in the Khasi language.

Keynote speakers included Phrang Roy, coordinator of the Indigenous Partnership and chairman of NESFAS, who welcomed the 140 different indigenous groups by remarking that this event marks the most represented meeting of indigenous communities in recent times. However, his welcome also came with a warning to the crowd, noting “out of desperation, out of temptations and sometimes out of ignorance many of us may attempt to abandon out indigenous practices even before we can understand their intrinsic values,” and calling for the global indigenous community to instead build a “society of hope” by allowing their traditions to guide them into the future.

Other speakers echoed the importance of strengthening the connection between nature and humankind through maintaining biodiversity and native foods. In a video message recorded specially for the event, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, challenged delegates to use these days to answer the question, “How can we better empower all communities to create a participatory economic model that safeguards culture, diversity and the environment?” Indeed, the concept of creating strong local food economies and food sovereignty were important themes of the day. In her presentation, Dr. Winona LaDuke, Native American activist, environmentalist and economist, called for an end to the dominance of multinationals in the food system and the reliance on industrial agriculture and fossil fuels, noting that indeed, indigenous foods are “pre-petroleum, pre-Colonialism, and pre-genetic engineering.”

To close out the ceremony, Slow Food International founder Carlo Petrini spoke on the importance of looking to indigenous peoples for their knowledge of sustainable and just food systems. Petrini denounced the current, globalized food system and multinational businesses for the way they devalue biodiversity in search of profits, stating, “Everyone wants to speak about sustainability, but they don’t work to change the system… We’re losing our history, our memory, our food heritage. We’re becoming like globalized, mass produced products.” Instead, Petrini encouraged the crowd to create change in their communities, starting with supporting their local farmers and producers. “Eating locally, we can change the current paradigm and save the planet,” he added. “The future is not in the global economy, but in an economy in harmony with nature.”

As the inauguration of Indigenous Terra Madre came to a close, delegates left NEHU’s Convocation Hall visibly inspired and exited to begin the following days of conferences, demonstrations and workshops. Conversations about a food movement and a world shaped by the sharing of traditional knowledge and cultural exchange had already begun.

Source: India Welcomes the World to Indigenous Terra Madre 2015! – Slow Food International
Address: http://www.slowfood.com/india-welcomes-the-world-to-indigenous-terra-madre-2015/
Date Visited: Mon Apr 25 2016 17:44:56 GMT+0200 (CEST)

It’s Time for a Change in Food and Agriculture Education! 21 April 2016 Netherlands

Food Trucks, new agricultural technologies, bug burgers and the resurgence of the farm-to-table movement. The food landscape is changing rapidly and this changing landscape demands new forms of food and agriculture education. CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences, based in Dronten, the Netherlands, and the Youth Food Movement, part of the Slow Food Youth Network, have joined forces and launched a Bachelor program in Food Entrepreneurship. The program offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the changing landscape of food and agribusiness to aspiring food entrepreneurs from all over the world. In one year, students will develop the tools and understanding to build their own authentic food business, and learn how to do business in a good, clean and fair way.

We all eat. There is so much to say about food and at the same time how and what we eat says so much about us. Food is culture; food is identity. Trends follow each other rapidly, and innovations with data and technology constantly provide new business opportunities and chances to help change our food system. CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest professional educational institutes in the Netherlands. In the programs currently offered, professionals prepare for their careers in the knowledge domains of agriculture, food, horticulture, agribusiness and animal science. […]

The content of the Food Entrepreneurship program has been developed in conjunction with the Youth Food Movement (YFM), which is part of the international Slow Food movement. The YFM has a record of involving a broad audience in the discussion on the future of food and agriculture. It has organized the Food Film Festival, and multiple projects that bring farmers, citizens, young food professionals and food entrepreneurs together. For seven years, it has organized the YFM Academy, an interdisciplinary training programme of six months during which young food professionals and students learn more about the food system.

Source: It’s Time for a Change in Food and Agriculture Education! – Slow Food International
Address: http://www.slowfood.com/time-change-food-agriculture-education/
Date Visited: Mon Apr 25 2016 17:59:12 GMT+0200 (CEST)

SHONALI MUTHALALY, The Hindu, November 10, 2012 | To view more photos and read the full article, click here >>

With Slow Food, the world’s most important contemporary food movement created to counter fast food and fast lifestyles, gathering momentum, here’s a look at the movement’s biggest event held in Turin, Italy, recently. […]

Linking people who think alike, whether they’re millet growers in Kenya and India, chefs from Malaysia and Burkina Faso, or indigenous farmers from Russia and Argentina. It’s not just about swapping technical notes. As R. Selvan, who heads a loose network of 22,000 organic farmers in Tamil Nadu, says, “Malaysian farmers, African farmers, Israeli farmers… Our challenges are different. But when we see them survive, it gives us joy and hope.” Slow Food doesn’t underestimate the power of hope.

Amid all the seductive rhetoric encouraging consumers to be ‘active protagonists’, to support ‘cultures that nourish’ and be the ‘generation that reunites mankind with the earth,’ there are cold, hard facts about a world in peril. Director-General of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, José Graziano da Silva, speaks of the crime of food wastage — “If we managed to cut total food loss and waste by half, we would have enough food to feed one billion more people” — encouraging Slow Food to unite forces with the FAO, to focus on the problem of world hunger. Slow Food vice-president Vandana Shiva — founder of Navdanya, an organisation of seed savers that has successfully conserved more than 5000 crop varieties in India — talks about corporate greed and the resulting seed wars being fought across the world. “In my own country we have lost 275,000 farmers who have committed suicide. A quarter million suicides is genocide. And we have to stop this genocide.” The legendary Alice Waters, Slow Food vice-president and chef, speaks about the need for education. […]

 Given how active North East India has been, it seems appropriate that the Second Indigenous Terra Madre 2014 will be held in Meghalaya. (The first, held in Jokkmokk, Sweden, in June 2011 brought together 360 participants from 60 indigenous groups.) The idea is to strengthen knowledge networks, establish food sovereignty areas and encourage increased participation of indigenous advocates in decision making at both national and international levels. […]

It’s more than a gastronomical movement. Or an environmental movement. Or a social movement. Its biggest advantage: creating a community that embraces everyone, cutting across race, class, geography and age. As Phrang Roy leaves the conference hall, young Californian Gerado O’ Marin stops to say hello and tell him how his ‘Youth-Food-Justice’ group reaches people with hip hop. “We make Slow Food cool,” he laughs. […]

Slow Food may save the world. It may not. But it’s undeniably forging powerful bonds. Making strong beginnings. Changing lives. Inspiring people. […]

Source: Eat, pray, love – The Hindu
Address: https://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/eat-pray-love/article4076820.ece
Date Visited: 18 January 2021

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We have a special responsibility to document, monitor and conserve our most precious asset

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