The geopolitics of food: food safety,globalization and sustainability at the heart of the challenges

Geopolitica cibo Expo2015
I have always been interested in geopolitics: to know what is behind the international policy, to understand the political, economic, or military strategies adopted by the different countries to respond to challenges and create alliances. In short: to know the different realities which makes our world a global network. That is why I decided on friday May 16th to go to a conference about “the geopolitics of food” organized by the italian Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie. It made me understand once again that when we speak about geopolitics it does cover only the States political decisions but in a such global world the food also becomes an interconnected reality which has significant consequences on the global population and on what we eat. Thus, the theme of food safety has been raised once again as a crucial issue for the world’s global balances. Moreover, speaking about Expo 2015 and its ...

Quiz: 10 questions to test your knowledge on food and agriculture in the European Union

UE Food agriculture Expo2015
Elections to the European Parliament will take place Saturday 25th of May 2014. It’s an opportunity to test your knowledge of key figures in terms of food and agriculture in the European Union, one year before the Universal Exposition 2015 which theme is Feed the planet: energy for life. By the way, did you know that European Union will have its own pavilion to the Expo, you will also find one question about this. Share and Enjoy

Here come the rooftop vegetable gardens in Paris!

Topager Expo2015
Interview of Frederic, from the French company Topager It’s in the middle of a worksite and under the rain that I met Frederic in the new vegetable garden of a luxurious hotel near the Eiffel Tower the 25th April of 2014. This vegetable garden has been grown up by the company he created one year ago with a friend, Nicolas Bel, Topager.  Under my umbrella, there was also my friend Céline met by chance the same morning at the  « La faim des terres » conference. We were lucky to also meet Lucie, Frederic’s college who is educational project manager. For our first encounter, we interrupted Frederic and Lucie at the heart of the action: they were receiving enormous farmland sack (composed of green wastes produced locally), ingredient at the basis of their little cuisine: the realization of vegetable garden on the roofs. This interview allowed us to better understand the meaning ...

The Civil Society: main player at Expo Milan 2015

Société civile Società civile Civil Society Expo2015
Thanks to an interesting conference over the participation of Cascina Triulza, which is the organization which will host the Civil Society Pavillion at the Expo 2015, I had the opportunity to get to known deeper the Triulza Foundation and the role of civil society at the Expo. The conference took place on Tuesday 29th of April at the Senate in Rome. (You will learn more about Cascina Triulza thanks to one of the next interviews by Juliette….). I had also the opportunity to enter the famous Palazzo Madama, the historical roman building hosting the Senate of the Italian Republic, in a hall fully decorated of wonderful frescos. Among the speakers, there were important representatives of the Italian Governments, such as the Minister of Agriclture, Nutrition and Forestry, Maurizio Martina, the Director the Institutional Affairs at Expo 2015 S.p.A., Roberto Arditti, and of course the President of the Triulza Foundation, Sergio Silvotti and ...

Bread, wine and earth at the heart of Mediterranean antique civilizations

Pane Vino Expo2015
I made the most of my Easter long weekend in Bologna –called « la grassa » (the fat) in Italy – the city being well known for its generous food. Indeed I participated to the guided tour organized by the bolonian archeological museum on the theme: « Demeter and Dionysus, or bread and wine. The symbolic meaning of food in the antique world». In a general way, it seems that the bond between earth and nature are at the heart of Mediterranean antique cultures. Religions and cults reinforce the sacred dimension of the “earth fruits” considered as gifts of gods. Bread and wine are central during celebrations but also moments of transition – as entering in adult life or death. With the guide Giulia, we travelled thru time and space between Egyptian civilization at the time of pharaohs and Greek civilization. This visit gave me an up-and-coming  foretaste of the many stories and ...

Degrowth theory and food issues: towards a “frugal abondance”?

Alimentazione abbondanza frugale Expo2015
What are the connections between food issues and degrowth theory? I had the answer attending to a conference with Serge Latouche, a famous French economist and thinker partisan of the degrowth theory in Milano the 17 of March.  The conference was held within the framework of a course of lectures organized by the foundation of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra entitled “Banquet table: between food and knowledge”. Introducing the conference, Serge Latouche first recalled the audience the definition of eating quoting Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement “Eating is a total discipline that regards agriculture, economy, culinary arts and ecology”. Indeed society issues have direct impacts on eating ones. Criticism of the negative impact of growth and its excesses Serge Latouche quickly presented the general framework of its thinking: he denounced the “society of growth” that little by little let itself be absorbed by the objective ...

Good reasons and tips to start your own vegetable garden!

herb garden
A growing phenomenon: why not you? Have you ever thought about how great it would be to pick up fruit and vegetables directly from your own garden, or even from your balcony, without the need to go to the supermarket? Having your own domestic garden is priceless and the current trend in Italy and in the rest of the world, shows this. According to the Italian Farmers’ Confederation (CIA), a growing number of Italians cultivate vegetables (such as tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce), herbs and spices on their balcony; in particular last year the percentage has increased of 9%, from 4.5 million to 4.9, so 8% of the Italian population. This practice allows to save more than 10% over the monthly grocery shopping and it guarantees the origin of the products[1]. Creating a domestic garden is not only a great advantage, but also a way to get easily the most common products, without ...

Milan, one year before 2015 Expo

Milan 1 anno prima dell'Expo2015
At Milan, there is already a certain taste of Universal exposition! J Before coming back to Rome, I’ve spent 4 days in Milan at the end of March. I had not come to this city since nearly 6 years and last time, I didn’t speak Italian! I was welcomed and hosted by Juliette, and we tried during those days to meet the main 2015 Expo stakeholders and to immerse ourselves in the city. It was a really intense and beautiful program! I agree with Giuliano Pisapia, the Milan mayor who affirmed during a conference at the beginning of March that “Anyone coming to Milan will discover a city already changed”, and certainly a city that already has a certain taste of Universal Exposition. The whole town in buzzing, Expo themes are in the spotlights, but there are still many challenges to take up: transportation, building works, opposition movements… However, as optimist ...

Food and body:les liaisons dangereuses

cibo e corpo
Eating disorders: reflection of an inner angst? I was lucky to go to the conference on “body and food” in Milan the 24th of February 2014  that was held within the framework of a course of lectures organized by the foundation of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra entitled “Banquet table: between food and knowledge”. Michela Marzano – Philosophy professor at the Paris V René Descartes University – was invited to speak about her research and her personal experiences. This conference remembered how food issues that will be at the heart of 2015 Universal Exposition are not only quantitative but also qualitative. Our relation to nutrition has an important social and psychological dimension that often reflects the angst of individuals and societies. A growing phenomenon Michela Marzano presented her paradigm to study the link between nutrition and body thru the prism of eating disorders, more particularly anorexia and bulimia. Those ...

Rome and the Lazio at the 2015 Expo

Even though Milan, the financial capital, will be the hosting city of the Expo 2015, Rome, the institutional capital, will be an active participant of this event. According to his mayor, Marino, indeed, Rome will be the “natural entrance for hundreds of delegations coming from different parts of the world” and therefore his active participation “ is a responsibility even before being an opportunity”[1]. I had the chance to assist to an event, which took place in FAO Headquarter last Friday 14th March, chaired by the institutional representatives of Rome and the Lazio Region, Marino and Zingaretti, together with Eduardo Rojas Briales, Vice Director General of FAO and General Commissary of the UN for Expo 2015, and the President of Expo 2015 S.p.A. and General Commissary for the Pavillion Italy, Diana Bracco. During this event, the participation of Rome to the Expo has been presented in detail. Rome: a big ...