After a hectic weekend of record-breaking attendance, Slow Food’s annual Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre event left attendees with take-home lessons to incorporate into their daily lives and share with the ones they love. Here are five lessons that stood out from the happenings that even those who didn’t traipse through the endless stalls offering samples of everything from Indian peanut chutney to Sicilian olive oils can learn no matter where they live or what they eat.
- Support local farmers. Sure, we all know about the carbon footprint aspect of locavorism, but research shows that eating local foods is actually more nutritious than getting the supermarket equivalent. If you can’t get local foods, regional varieties of beans, grains, or fruit (think apples and sweet potatoes) are also better than their imported counterparts.
- Eating well should taste good and be a pleasure. If you have to choke it down, don’t eat it. There’s a balance between the things we should be eating and the things we want to eat. Pleasure is an essential component of well-being.
- Support agriculture. We can help mobilize impoverished societies both in our own country and abroad through supporting agriculture and local foods. Agriculture and regional cuisines help to connect people to specific territories and gives them claims to land that might otherwise not be theirs.
- Seeds. Seeds (the kinds used to grow plants, not eat) are one of the best ways to protect local cuisines, fight for farmers, and improve our diets. We need to fight to protect them from becoming patented inventions.
- Get together. Coming together, sharing food, and talking about food are great ways to protect the future of regional cuisines, not to mention really fun.
Emilia Morano-Williams is a Special Contributor at The Daily Meal who is covering this fall's Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy.