The strength of a man or woman has been measured throughout history by their number of followers. Faithful followers, fellow, supporters, sympathizers, supporters… Followers. Carlo Petrini does not have Twitter, but a tide of hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide – and growing – between now included Pope Francisco and, for years, Prince Charles. But who is Carlo Petrini?
With that question starts the documentary Slow Food. The Story, which took 25 years in making that meets the gastronomic movement, strong humanist, environmentalist and hedonistic basis. Petrini was born in the town of Bra 65 years ago and where this school of thought focused on the food culture that continues to gain allies in every corner of the globe. In 2008 The Guardian positioned Petrini among the 50 people who could save the planet. And in September 2013 the United Nations awarded him the Champions of the Earth.
He is working on a project with the Pope, which will be announced this year, probably in the fall. He got a call from on his phone a few months ago, while walking down a street in Paris.
– Hi, I’m the Pope Francis.
– Hello, I’m Carlo Petrini, what a surprise.
Weeks before that unexpected call, Petrini had sent a copy his earlier book Terra Madre him to Jorge Mario. The calll lasted “about 25 minutes”. Pope – a week later would write another letter I wanted to thank you and spoke about “immigration, agriculture, the importance of dignify the work of farmers and small farms; and to preserve the diversity and quality of local products of the Earth”, which is what Slow Food is about. More specifically the Piedmont, where his origins converge: ” Mine were installed in Asti Turin, opening a small cafe on the corner of Via Garibaldi,” said Petrini.
Slow Food was born with that name as opposed to Fast Food, is now a revolutionary. A humanist movement of something as basic as productive and personal wealth of each place, the food. The enjoyment of good food and customs from different parts of the world in uniformity brought about by global cultural events. For a quarter of a century has done nothing but add people slowly to the Slow Food movement. Numbers are still in hundreds of thousands, nothing compared to the 25,000 million meals served every year through one of the McDonalds.
Today Slow Food is a breath of fresh air in a fight dominated by Fast Food world, but finally large multinationals are stepping in with large advertising budgets. It is a gastronomic and intends to dignify current thinking and bring the vision of the peasant, show that gastronomy is something that goes way beyond good culinary arts and menu design.
Thus, compared to direct and suggestive slogans like “I’m lovin ‘it” Mc Donalds or ” Have it your way” of Burger King, proposed a more complex one: slogan for Slow Food is “Good, clean and fair “.
In the fight against the burger powers who burgers worth of billions of euros per year, Slow Food is a successful non-profit foundation with 100,000 partners who religiously pay their annual fee. It has branch offices across 170 countries competing against McDonald’s 50,000 restaurants and Burger King in 120 countries of the world. Slow Food has the only university in the world dedicated exclusively to the Gastronomic Sciences, which this year titled – with -a perfectly studies approved its fourth generation of gourmets. Although McDonald also funds Hamburger University, campus with a dozen partners worldwide. Slow Food has created more than 1,300 convivium, according to their website, companies who spread the philosophy and work of this current of thought.
Two models of society, two ways of life, two ways of looking at the future from food: A global world uniformed and collective identification easy in a world that emphasizes biodiversity and richness of multiple identities that populate the planet.
The activity of Slow Food and Terra Madre, aimed at promoting food production methods in harmony with nature, raises in my mind feelings of sincere gratitude.
Since 2004, after processing operation of Pollenzo Gothic castle which was formerly the residence of the Savoy, the University of Gastronomic Sciences, of which 1,500 have already left young ” foodies “.
“We approached the gastronomic sciences from an epistemological point of view: from microbiology to art. It is a university that grows and inventing every day, with 16 permanent teachers and many other visitors, including a practical part and a theoretical travel; with degrees and masters; which started with 70 students per year and now we are on 300, 60% foreigners… “says the rector Carlo Grimaldi. Yes, one year of tuition costs 3500 euros.
The Slow Food movement, with the help of a genius born in Bra, now seems to have found the best sponsors, the great advertising icon of our time: Pope Francis. The secret of that relationship will be revealed “soon.”