November 28, 2012

Natural Foodie: Slow Food delegates forage for ideas in Italy

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Maine delegate and Sunrise Guide publisher Heather Chandler, center, with fellow U.S. delegates Jenn Halpin and Amanda Green at the Terra Madre conference in Italy.

Contributed photo

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The Honey Bar booth at Terra Madre allowed delegates to sample honeys from around the world.

Heather Chandler photos

Additional Photos Below


Slow Food Portland is setting up a Terra Madre recap event on Jan. 16, where all three delegates will speak. Details weren't finalized at press time. Check for more details as they become available.

When she was talking with delegates from California, Chandler learned about the gleaning efforts in that state to gather food from street trees and post-harvest leftovers from cultivated fields.

"It was interesting to see there was an organized effort on the West Coast," Chandler said. "They have groups that organize volunteers and do these gleaning projects, and then the food is donated to food pantries and food programs."

After talking with chefs from around the country who are engaged in teaching people about cooking and food preparation, Chandler was struck by the limited scope of cooking education for the general public in food-obsessed Portland.

"I think there's real opportunity for us to do more in the food preparation area in Greater Portland," Chandler said.

While all three delegates enjoyed connecting with the international food community and gathering new ideas, they all came home with a newfound appreciation for the sophistication of Maine's food scene.

"I think Maine is doing incredible things," said Bostick. "We have the capacity to feed ourselves in such a big way. Maine still has the farming infrastructure (that other places have lost)."

Cederholm noted that America has a relatively short food tradition compared with other countries, and that "most of our food history has been dominated by industrial food." Still, her time in Italy caused her to realize that Maine continues to maintain a unique food identity in a sea of homogenized, mass-marketed food.

"Maine is already really fortunate in that we've been thinking about food for a really long time," Cederholm said. "I kind of felt really blessed coming from Maine."

Chandler said her conversations with fellow U.S. delegates gave her new insight into how what's happening in Maine compares with food initiatives around the country. "When I was there, there was this sense that Maine was doing a lot nationally," Chandler said. "There was this perception among other (U.S.) delegates that Maine has a lot going on."

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


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Additional Photos

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A wide variety of beans and grains grown in different regions of the world were on display at Terra Madre.


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