Did you know that two-thirds of the oxygen we breathe comes from phytoplankton? And that much of the food you eat grows thanks to the work of pollinating insects? This is all biodiversity.
Over 30 years of defending food-related biodiversity have shown we’re on the right path. The Slow Food approach to biodiversity starts with food and includes cultural diversity, traditional knowledge and the work of communities in rural areas.
At Terra Madre, biodiversity will take center stage in an exhibition space dedicated to a variety of different crops and Slow Food thematic networks including Slow Grains and Slow Beans: The Biodiversity Trail.
A gateway to biodiversity
Before entering the trails, our visitors will pass through a gateway to biodiversity: a space to explore how important biodiversity is for the survival of life on our planet, and for its regeneration.
Cereals, bread and flour – Social regeneration
Beginning with bread is a strong political statement. With the war in Ukraine – one of the largest granaries in the world – and the end of exports, there are over 50 countries that risk an unprecedented shortage of flour. The war has put global food security in peril, making an already-dramatic situation caused by the climate crisis even worse. But of what the biodiversity of bread?
At Terra Madre you’ll find a wide range of breads, and all the grains used to make them: wheat, cornflour, cassava, rye, bulgur, millet. Then there are all the different tools we use to transform them into bread: because diversity isn’t vegetable varieties and finished products, but the cultures that produce them and conserve them, as well as the tools used to mill, roll and bake.
There’s a deeper meaning in talking about the products we make from cereals, from bread to cous cous, tapioca and injera; it’s a way of talking about the right to food itself. Because not everyone has guaranteed access to cereals, and striving to change that is a powerful symbol of social regeneration.
Legumes for environmental regeneration
A simple, humble food, one that doesn’t easily express its enormous potential. More attention is being paid to these magnificent plants nowadays, and all their beneficial properties both for us and for the environment. Legumes don’t just have a high nutritional value, they’re also important for soil fertility thanks to the nitrogen-fixing capacities, as well for food security in general.
Chestnuts and wild fruits – The regeneration of the forests
Chestnuts are an important resource for mountain areas and for the ecosystem of the foothills. They help safeguard the ecological integrity of the landscape, protect the soil, conserve woodland heritage and capture carbon dioxide. In recent years, however, chestnut growing has suffered, a situation only worsened by the health and climate crises. We dedicate a step on our trail to the fabulous world of wild fruits and the mysteries of our forests, as well as to savannas, deserts and oases.
RegenerAction Corner – Practical demonstrations of biodiversity
How can we connect these worlds and ingredients in the kitchen? In the Biodiversity Area we’ll show you how! Come to the RegenerAction corner for practical demonstrations of the techniques and traditional knowledge our delegates use to produce food.