Lauren Howe ’13 and Eunice Choi ’14 travelled to the 2012 International Slow Food Congress in Turin, Italy, Oct. 25-29.
Howe is co-founder and co-leader of Slow Food Hamilton College. She was one of four delegates representing Region 3 (NY, NJ, CT) at this year’s Congress. In 2011, Howe conducted an independent study examining food purchasing in Hamilton’s dining halls. She researched and recorded food purchases and collaborated with campus food provider Bon Appétit and Real Food Challenge (RFC), a student-led organization based in Boston that aims to shift $1 billion dollars in campus food spending away from industrial food to instead purchasing “real food,” defined by RFC standards as local, organic, fair and humane.
Choi volunteered at Korea’s booth at the Slow Food Congress. Earlier this year, as the recipient of a Diversity Social Justice Project summer grant, she traveled to South Korea to intern at the World Wide Organization of Organic Famers (WWOOF). Choi visited and worked at a variety of organic farms in South Korea in an effort to better understand the issue of environmental justice – the fair treatment of all people regardless of race, gender, national origin or income with regard to environmental laws and policies – as it applies to rural organic farmers. A member of her host family in South Korea is the president of Slow Food Korea.
Slow Food is an international organization with national, regional, and campus chapters, each promoting the slogan “good, clean, and fair” – food that is tasty and healthy, clean for the Earth, and fair in terms of farm and food service workers’ rights. Every two years, delegates from more than 130 countries come together to discuss global food and farming issues at the Slow Food conference Terra Madre. Every five years, a smaller number of individuals are invited to attend the exclusive International Congress where they will have voting power.
For the first time in history, Terra Madre and the international food exhibition Salone del Gusto was open to the public where more than 200,000 people convened. Topics of presentation and discussion included everything related to food from GMOs and corporate land grabs to taste workshops and gastronomy.
Slow Food Hamilton College hosts potlucks, lectures, film screenings, and other educational activities to engage students and faculty. For one project the group worked to acquire funding to start a garden at Martin Luther King Elementary in Utica.