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17 – 18 November, Città dell’Altra Economia, Rome

On 17 and 18 November, at Città dell’Altra Economia, the Cultural Association of Sardinians in Rome (ACRASE, Maria Lai) and Navdanya International, in collaboration with the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Sardigna Terra Bia, FASI (Federation of Sardinian Associations in Italy) and the Farmers’ Markets of Rome and Castelli Romani, organized an event dedicated to the themes: Food and Health (in Sardinian: Mandigu pro sa salude) and protection of Biodiversity.

The event hosted a Farmers’ Market where associations, committees and producers from Sardinia and Lazio offered their healthy, local and biodiverse products.

Link to full photo album

The core of the event was the conference which took place on Sunday, which was introduced by Maria Vittoria Migaleddu, President of ACRASE Maria Lai, Bastianino Mossa, of FASI (Federation of Sardinian Associations in Italy), who spoke about the battle against the gas pipeline project on the one hand and the work of civil society for the protection of biodiversity in Sardinia on the other, but also about the project to start a path of food quality in the island, which currently imports about 80% of its food supply needs.

The first speaker was Manlio Masucci, journalist and communication coordinator of Navdanya International, who presented the Italian edition of the Food for Health Manifesto and international Campaign. In this Manifesto “Scientific research confirms the unsustainability of the high chemical input industrial agricultural model”, he stated ” and lays the foundations for an ecological breakthrough. Our Food Resistance starts from small farmers and producers, as well as local Circular Economies”.

The issue of pesticides in our food and environment was analysed by Dr Patrizia Gentilini, oncologist and emathologist, ISDE – International Society of Doctors for the Environment, among the authors of the above mentioned Manifesto. She stated: “Too many Toxic Chemicals are released into the environment indiscriminately. We have them in our bodies and they are responsible for today’s increase of chronic-degenerative diseases”.

Closely linked to the issue of poisons in our farming system is the importance of biodiversity, which was subject of the talk of Guy D’Hallewin, coordinator at Cnr – Ispa Uos of Sassari, as well as among the authors of the above mentioned Manifesto. He said that “traditional seed varieties have much superior nutritional functions without the need for external inputs. They have been selected for millennia to adapt to specific conditions of specific territories”.

Following up, Blanche Magarinos-Rey, lawyer, of Artemisia Lawyers group, who talked about EU Regulation on organic production and labelling, seeds and agrobiodiversity.

After the experts talks, a real example of local circular food economy put in place: the Farmers’ Markets of “Mercati Contadini di Roma e Castelli Romani”, through its representatives Eva Castrucci and Marco Casella. The experience of this market is based on concrete circular economy and represents the implementation of a model based on the short supply chain, on the enhancement of small producers and the authentic and genuine flavours of the local territories.

As another example of a local organic and biodiverse food system, Maurizio Fadda, agronomist, of the Biodivesity Commitee of Nuoro, who brought a significant testimonial of the collective work con wheat and bread carried out by a collective of committed people in Sardinia. “Let’s start growing wheat again” he said,”let’s create Local Economies & markets, let’s set-up bakeries and pizzerias that use flour from local varieties. Let wheat return in the hands of communities”

Our care for the Earth and each other is our best chance for the future. We have chosen to dedicate two days to the issues of food, health and biodiverrsity to bring their importance to everyone’s attention, by inviting those who devote their energies and work to produce healthy food and to cultivate biodiversity to participate.

Link to full photo album

To cheer up the two days with their music, directly from Sardinia: CORO ORTOBENE of NUORO