By: Abbe Turner, co-leader of Slow Food Northern Ohio
Last night I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Carlo Petrini speak at the Slow Money National Gathering at the beautiful Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado. Always charismatic, his remarks were engaging, electric, challenging, and inspiring.
His keynote address united Slow Food and Slow Money as important institutions charged with leading the efforts to reverse the effects of a broken “criminalized” food system. As we know, the focus of Slow Food is protecting and promoting food that is good, clean and fair; the focus of Slow Money is to bring money “back down to earth” by encouraging investment in food and farm entrepreneurs. The Slow Money network has had a hand in shifting over $24 million into over 190 small food enterprises over the past few years.
Petrini spoke of the importance of a new way of doing politics at this historical moment where change really matters and we must show strength in this new economy. Citing the challenges of soil fertility, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, climate change and landscape destruction, Petrini stated we need to understand the central role that food has as a vehicle for change.
He went on to say that food is the energy of our lives and for this reason our vision of food must be holistic; respect for nature, love of landscape, music, spirituality, knowledge of family and agricultural traditions, and knowledge of other cultures. “We must respect food because it is the very essence of life — Food is not just economic and political, it sustains life, and to do this we must return money to the soil. As Americans you do this through reciprocity and the exchange of resources at farmers markets, CSA’s, and more… You have started a revolution with your money!”
Because of important organizations such as Slow Food and Slow Money the opportunity to join this revolution has never been so ripe. The local food scene throughout the world is being invigorated with an entrepreneurial spirit that needs to be supported, rewarded, and nurtured. At Lucky Penny we are proud to be a part of this revolution. Come join us; make change.