Carlo Petrini you are my hero!

This past Friday, October 8th, 2010, Cate, Maria, and I took a little road trip down to Yale to see the one and only founder of Slow Food: Mr. Carlo Petrini. This was an extraordinary experience as we were privileged to listen to this presentation, first delivered in beautiful Italian words by Carlo and then in English by his translator. It was an absolute honor to sit in his presence among other activists, listening as he spoke about the dynamics of our food system and how we can achieve good, clean, and fair food within our generation. Carlo is an amazing thinker and speaker; the way in which he presents his ideas fills you with the empowerment to make positive changes immediately. He recognizes the need for gradual improvement but also focuses upon the multifaceted nature of the food system, touching upon the interconnectedness between social, economic and environmental aspects involved. Despite language barriers, cultural discrepancies, and religious beliefs, Carlo says, we are all connected through food. Food is a universal language we all speak and therefore, must be regarded as a sacred entity. This attitude is the heart of the Slow Food movement, and the first step we must take in order to reestablish a relationship with our food, our environment, and essentially, our health. I certainly cannot do justice to the beautiful ways in which Carlo spoke about Slow Food, but I can attest to the feelings of inspiration and utter joy I left the Yale auditorium with that night. Oh yeah, did I mention we met him???? After the three of us gave him a standing ovation, I shot up from my seat and ran towards Carlo. I wanted nothing more than to shake the hand of this man with my most sincere gratitude. Luckily, there was someone near us who spoke Italian and she translated for us as we stood face to face with Carlo. He shook our hands with delight as we told him we were from URI’s student chapter of Slow Food, embraced all three of us, and even posed for a picture with us. Carlo Petrini, you are my hero.

-Mikayla

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