Terra Madre Day 2011 Celebrates Local Food Around the World

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Over 100,000 people today are gathering to celebrate local food, as well as to support sustainable and fair food around the world. Terra Madre Day is a global event organized by Slow Food International, and is now in its third year of promoting good, clean, and fair food for all.

More than 600 events have been planned in 110 countries, each helping draw attention to their local food. In Spain, 18 restaurants in Figueres, a city in the province of Girona, Catalonia, are participating in a competition for the best local and traditional dishes. In Almaty, Kazakhstan, a festival has been planned to celebrate the region’s wild apple orchards. This area is the only place where the endangered Sievers apple can still be found.

For a Terra Madre celebration in Australia, organizers are preparing a dinner made from food that is perfectly good, but that has been rejected for sale for cosmetic or other reasons. (For more on the importance of reducing food waste, see some of our recent op-eds published on the issue: Food Waste can be Recycled to Help Feed the Planet and Simple Lifestyle Changes can Reduce Food Waste.)

In the U.S., events are being held in 17 different locations across the country. In Ohio, students at Oberlin College are hosting a screening and discussion of the documentary Food, Inc. as part of their campaign to influence the 2012 Food and Farm Bill. The Terra Madre celebration hosted by the Slow Food Orange County convivium in Los Alamitos, California will be holding a food swap of homemade goods where people can exchange items of food in an effort to strengthen the local food community.

In addition to promoting local foods, Terra Madre Day also looks to raise support for Slow Foods’ A Thousand Gardens in Africa project. Launched just over a year ago, the initiative aims to create 1,000 school and community gardens in 25 African countries in order to improve food sovereignty, nutrition, and local environments. Already 394 gardens have been adopted, and many events today are looking to raise money to further expand the project.

Danielle Nierenberg
Danielle Nierenberg, an expert on livestock and sustainability, currently serves as Project Director of State of World 2011 for the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington, DC-based environmental think tank. Her knowledge of factory farming and its global spread and sustainable agriculture has been cited widely in the New York Times Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, and
other publications.

Danielle worked for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She is currently traveling across Africa looking at innovations that are working to alleviate hunger and poverty and blogging everyday at Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet. She has a regular column with the Mail & Guardian, the Kansas City Star, and the Huffington Post and her writing was been featured in newspapers across Africa including the Cape Town Argus, the Zambia Daily Mail, Coast Week (Kenya), and other African publications. She holds an M.S. in agriculture, food, and environment from Tufts University and a B.A. in environmental policy from Monmouth College.
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