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Lab neat. The point of Nappini, Slow Food Italia

"Do not reduce a complex issue, which has to do with the food system, soil, landscape, food culture and food sovereignty, to an ideological battle"

11, Dec 2023

«The ban on the production and sale of meat grown according to Slow Food does not close the discussion: it opens it» states Barbara Nappini, president of Slow Food Italia, commenting on the bill proposed by the government and just signed by the President of the Republic. «We cannot reduce a complex issue, which has to do with the food system, the soil, the landscape, the culture of food and food sovereignty, to an ideological battle. We do not need provisions that prohibit the production and sale of foods produced from cell cultures or animal tissues like the one that has just officially become law, but correct information that allows everyone to choose. Forbidding is a shortcut. We need an honest analysis, capable of embracing complexity."

Food is not a fuel to make the body function, an algebraic sum of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Food is first of all a cultural expression, a language. It is an integral part of the identity of peoples, the result of knowledge, traditions, innovations and exchanges of knowledge. According to Slow Food, the problem of excessive meat production cannot be solved by moving from intensive farming to laboratories, but can be addressed by analyzing and modifying the model that gave rise to this distortion.

A model that transformed agriculture into industry and handed it over to finance, breaking its link with the earth and nature, transforming a circular activity (where nothing was waste) into a sector that produces more than 30% of CO2 emissions, pollutes the land and water, compromises our health. And it does all this in the name of a growing population to feed, hiding the truth of food produced to be largely wasted. «Today a handful of multinationals control almost everything: the production of seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, feed, pharmaceuticals; animal genetics, breeding, slaughter, distribution; even the nautical companies that transport feed and flour across the globe" continues Nappini.
It is enough to take a look at the list of financiers of cultured meat research to understand what the direction is: from Bill Gates to Sergey Brin of Amazon to Richard Branson of the Virgin Group. But also JBS, Cargill and Tyson Foods, the same multinationals that control the meat supply chain. In fact, precisely those who are among the main responsible for the current drift of livestock farming - and have control over it at a global level - are investing in cultured meat using the same tools and the same schemes, now that the sector is starting to see threats on the horizon. : patents and monopolies.

The invitation that Slow Food Italia is launching today is precisely on this: «We want to open a reflection on a different model of farming, which honestly asks questions about access to natural resources and the right to food sovereignty» concludes Nappini.
What Slow Food has been working on for years through its projects: a model that is connected to the soil, to the fodder of stable meadows and pastures, that takes into consideration the ethology of the animals and respects it. On more balanced diets, which include a reduction in meat consumption and an increase in vegetable protein intake, through precious legumes, which enrich the soil and require little water. On a food system that produces a widespread economy, health, well-being; that generates beauty and does not disfigure the landscape; that protects biodiversity; which counteracts the depopulation of the internal areas (70% of the Italian territory) by supporting the small companies that preside over the high lands and preserve them from hydrogeological instability (companies that continue to close in favor of increasingly larger lowland factories).

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