Category Archives: Terra Madre

Terra Madre 2016 – A Look Back

Join us for a scintillating review of the 2016 Terra Madre Convention in Italy. Let our delegates John and Lolita take you on a journey of the senses through an international celebration of good, clean and fair food in today’s guest blog! – Alisha Eastep, Treasurer of Slow Food San Francisco


Imagine yourself in a city that was once the Capital of Italy; with wide boulevards; a beautiful park; an ornate opera house; a royal palace; a medieval village adjacent to a serene river; and surrounded by thousands of farmers and food producers from 150 countries. No, it’s not a dream. You’re at Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 in Torino, Italy, and it’s taken over the city. For the first time in its 20-year history, the event was held in some of the most beautiful and prestigious sites around the city. The change of location opened the five-day event to an estimated one million visitors admission free.

My wife, Lolita, and I represented Slow Food San Francisco in Torino and were among the 5,000 delegates that came to celebrate this year’s theme, “Loving the Earth”. We also were interested to learn how the world celebrated and embraced good, clean and fair food. Food communities like Slow Fish and Slow Meat had full programs of workshops, programs, forums and cooking classes at Parque Valentino and at Eataly Torino Lingotto.

The Indigenous Terra Madre network met to “discuss their future in Slow Food and at Terra Madre”. Winona LaDuke, an environmentalist and Indian rights activist from the Objiwe Nation headed the US delegation. Vincent Medina of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of California and the Assistant Curator of Mission Dolores in San Francisco also joined and shared his stories with our delegation.

The diversity in the Terra Madre Marketplace was unimaginable and we were always on the lookout for the best food and drink. We found cumin from Morocco and cardamom from Guatemala that smelled like a spice bouquet; pesto with authentic basil from Liguria made by expert hands; porcini mushrooms, fresh and dried, from the forests of Piemonte; a smorgasbord of Swedish foods such as smoked reindeer and salmon, cloudberry juice, and goat cheese and whole grain crackers served on a wooden plank; wild strawberry and wild blackberry jam from Abruzzo, Italy; heirloom rice from the Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines; and a whole street of artisanal gelatos from Torino’s finest gelaterias. Of all the foods from all over the world, what was not to love?

Besides the food experiences, there were opportunities to join educational workshops on food systems and food issues with experts from California and around the world. Dr. Miguel Altieri From UC Berkeley, Anuradha Mittal from the Oakland Institute and Farmer and Forest Ecologist Yacouba Sawadogo from Burkina Faso, shared their stories on how they think, “Agroecology can Feed the World”. Alice Waters, chef and restaurateur from Berkeley, joined Ron Finley, the Gangsta Gardener of Los Angeles, and Edward Mikiibi from Slow Food International and 1000 Gardens in Africa in describing their “Garden Revolutions”.

It was Gaetano Pascale, President of Slow Food Italia who said, “The challenge of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 for Slow Food was political, cultural and social: to assert that good, clean and fair food is a human right, something that we must all feel part of, and that means loving the earth! We can proudly say we’ve succeeded in this challenge.”

John & Lolita Casazza

2016 Terra Madre Delegates, Slow Food San Francisco

Meet Slow Food San Francisco’s 2016 Terra Madre Delegate

Sandi McGinnis of McGinnes Ranch in Royal Oaks California represented San Francisco at 2016’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy Sept, 22-26, 2016. As delegate, Sandi brought back stories from the event to share at our Jan, 23rd Member Meeting, and produced a documentary. Check it out!
Hear about the experience of attending Terra Madre from Sandi, in her own words:
Growing up on the farm prepared me to have a strong work ethic and gave me a “can do” attitude, which served has me well in life.  I have come back to the farm in the hopes of keeping it running for future generations, and to transition to organic practices.  We are in our second year of farming organically, with positive outcomes indicating it is possible to return to organic farming.  In working toward this goal we have also experienced our share of setbacks and some crop failures, but I look at them as learning experiences.  I was given a major learning experience by Slow Food SF to attend Terra Madre as a delegate in 2016!
It was an unforgettable experience and it gives me hope and satisfaction to continue the farm, and keep the biodiversity of our crops going.  Without family farms we would be left with corporations growing our food, and harming our environment.  I feel a responsibility to steward the land and leave a positive impact on the ecosystems around me.  Slow Food brings awareness to the importance of biodiversity, which we need now more than ever.  I have put together a video to give a glimpse of my Terra Madre experience.
You can visit us at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market out front, on Tuesday and Saturday.
Sandi McGinnis
McGinnis Ranch

Thanks for attending our 2017 Membership Meeting!

Hello Slow Food San Francisco,

We are thrilled with the outcome of our 2017 Membership Meeting! We had close to 50 people in attendance and heard from a wide variety of stakeholders in the Slow Food mission of good, clean, and fair food.

First, we heard from Sandi McGinnis, Slow Food Member and owner of McGinnis Ranch. Sandi was our Terra Madre delegate and attendee, and she shared her Terra Madre story. Sandi showed a fabulous video she made documenting the incredible sharing of regional cultures and slow producers from all over the world that is Terra Madre! She even brought delicious samples to be raffled off to attendees at the end of the night. Sandi was so generous, almost half of our attendees walked home with a free prize.

Next, Dava Guthmiller, Chief Creative Officer/Founder of Noise 13 and former president of Slow Food San Francisco, passed the fork to the new Board. Dava spoke about her work with Slow Food, and how excited she is to participate as general council to the next group of Slow Foodies, ensuring that her invaluable expertise will continue to be tapped to produce quality events for Slow Food San Francisco.

With the official passing of the fork, Slow Food San Francisco got its first opportunity to meet the new Board, and hear about their plans and passions for our community. You can read more about the individual board members here.

Our final speaker of the night flew in all the way from Italy to share with members of Slow Food San Francisco a brand new vision for educating people on the entire Slow Food process. Paolo Ferrarini, of Slow Food University, shared information about the world-class, cutting-edge programs created by Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini.

We also shared cheese, and jam donated by INNA jams, oils and wines donated by McGuinnis Ranch, and bread baked by our very own Kelly Geiser and donated by Acme Bread!

Overall, it was a fun-filled hour of the good, clean, and fair food mission we are all so passionate about!


Looking Forward to International Congress

Aaron Lander

Aaron Lander

Once every four years, Slow Food International brings together sustainable food systems leaders from around the world. Delegates discuss the organization’s goals and policy strategies, as well as elect management bodies to carry these goals forward. This October, the sixth International Congress will be held in Turin, Italy at the same time as Terra Madre.

This year, CUESA nominated Marin Sun Farms to send a representative, Aaron Lander, to International Congress, and Slow Food San Francisco will sponsor him to go. Marin Sun Farms is based in Point Reyes, and raises 100% grass fed and pasture raised meats for the Bay Area community. For Aaron, who grew up in the “corn capital of the US” (Des Moines, IA), traveling to Turin, Italy to meet with global leaders in the food scene will be a dream come true. Aaron has been fixated on addressing global environmental issues since his freshman year in college when he dropped his pre-med ambitions in favor of focusing on food issues and community development. He was a founding member of the Des Moines UN World Food Program Chapter and worked with many land management groups as he started his MS in Community Development in 2009 through Iowa State University. He ultimately moved to the Bay Area to get involved in the region’s innovative agricultural community and began working with Marin Sun Farms where he partnered with local Slow Food chapters to organize meat panels, Earth Days and other environmental events.

Aaron is thrilled about the possibilities in Turin. “I’m going because I want to be able to bring what the Bay Area is doing to a global scene and bring what everyone else is doing back here,” explained Aaron. “I’ve also been interested in Slow Food International since I was in undergrad, so being able to continue to work even more closely with the organization is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

He hopes to learn more about global food security issues as well as develop his network in order to build global support for sustainable agriculture and local food systems. He’s also looking forward to bringing the farmer’s point of view to the fore, helping shed light on their limitations as well as opportunities for public support. He’s excited to learn from the many food leaders he expects to meet and to bring that information back to the Bay Area to share with the Slow Food community and others in the industry.

“This is an amazing opportunity that I’m honored to be a part of,” said Aaron. “By involving people from a variety of backgrounds in this world’s food issues, we’ll be more likely to make significant progress in building a more sustainable future.”