Carlo Petrini was born in the small Italian town of Bra, where he was part of a group of gastronomes who started the well-known phenomenon of Slow Food in the late eighties. The movement consolidated in 1986 following the opening of the first McDonald’s in Italy. (In case you’re wondering, said McDonald’s is still there in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna.)
The movement adopted a snail as a symbol, representing an invitation to live more calmly and to focus on the present. Thus, Slow Food is a philosophy of life that contrasts with fast-paced living and mass consumption.
Petrini is now known as the founder of this international movement, which has become very relevant due to its presence in more than 160 countries. He has published several works on nutrition and teaches at the university. Several institutions have recognised Petrini’s work, for example, through the Italian Premio Nazionale Cultura della Pace (Culture of Peace National Prize, 2012) and his designation as FAO Zero Hunger Special Ambassador for Europe (2016).
INTERVIEW WITH CARLO PETRINI (In Spanish w/Catalan subtitles)
¿What is Slow Food?
Slow Food is a global movement present in 150 countries around the world. It is a network of food communities as well as producers, farmers and fishermen from all over the world.
When did it emerge?
It was born in 1989 and developed very intensively in 2004. Two very important things happened that year: the first was the Terra Madre networks, a worldwide meeting of slow food communities, held in Italy. The second was the creation of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, also in 2004: it was the first one entirely dedicated to gastronomy.
Why is it important?
It changed the concept of gastronomy because gastronomy also includes producers, the environment and the economy. This is the most crucial vision of the Slow Food movement.