The food revolutionary

October 2009

One of the more compelling visitors to the city during SIFF will be Carlo Petrini, the fast-moving founder of the Slow Food movement (disclosure: I’m a member of the committee of the Sydney Convivium or branch), one of the most powerful enemies of industrial food on the planet and a champion of traditional foods, its producers and the rights of the individuals Petrini calls “co-producers” rather than “consumers”. He says, “The term ‘consumer’ is not apposite because it sanctions an injustice ... children are taught like battery chickens to be the consumers of the future.” He goes on to say that “teaching children not to want to be consumers is an extraordinary educational project”. And he and his movement have certainly made an impact. In 2008, Petrini was listed as one of the “50 people who could save the planet”.

You can hear Petrini speak about what he calls “good, clean, fair” food and the new, more activist direction of Slow at the Sydney Opera House on October 18 at 2pm (bookings Ph 9250 2777 or
Before that, you can go to a picnic with him at Rathborne Lodge and Lawn at the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens, where pioneer native produce cook Jean-Paul Bruneteau will be cooking. It starts at 10am. Get further details and make bookings at and scroll down to the Event Brite link to book tickets ($40 each).

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