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A person writing in the night may put out the lamp, but the words he has written will remain. It is the same with the destiny we create for ourselves in this world.

By SarahJoy Smith, Slow Food Olympia

As a Slow Food enthusiast it can be a daunting principal. Take something as complex as the current food system and try to rework it to support the local food culture. Here in our Olympia chapter we talk about this regularly in meetings. But with seemingly insurmountable details and challenging politics the answers come slowly and with many unsolvable questions still looming in the background. How will we recreate the process to make a viable sustainable system that supports local producers? To say we are just around the corner from a solution would be to stretch the truth considerably. But to say that we are far away is no longer a truth either.

Our delegates have returned from Terra Madre with new insights and more possibilities than they left with, which is to say they have returned with hope. The common word used among the three of them was “overwhelmed”. With 250,000 participants, it is easy to see why. There was a lot to take in only five days. But for the same reason they were overawed they were also filled with a sense of possibility. You see, each of those individual people represented groups of people, chapters from their respective hometowns, all working together for a common good. What started as a movement with a small group of people in one country now spans the continents and includes millions of participants worldwide. It has taken time, and it will continue to take time, but we are doing it. We ARE learning to work, cook and grow together, which means that no matter what we will eventually succeed.

Our delegates have come home with fresh eyes and will be sharing new information over the coming months in the hopes of furthering the process here. In the mean time they impart to all of us two most important principals involved in this work. The first is continue to ask questions so that you can know your farmer and know your food. The second is wisdom from Carlo Petrini, which is to remember that food itself is the celebration, and no matter what forces are against us we are fighting for something good, and to make sure to find JOY in the process of changing the world!

Happy Eating!