A Global Celebration of Local Food Cultures
On Dec. 10, members of Slow Food and the Terra Madre network around the world will join the celebration of Terra Madre Day, Slow Food’s global day to promote good, clean and fair local food, now in its third year. More than 100,000 people in 110 countries will be taking part in festivals, dinners, exhibitions, cultural events, conferences and the numbers continue to rise.
Around Europe, many events focusing on the future of agriculture and the role of young farmers are being organized. In Romania, two events will feature public debates on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, bringing together policy makers, farmers and young people, and in the Netherlands a conference and a series of workshops for young European leaders will be taking place.
From the U.S. to the U.K., many groups are organizing fundraising dinners and lotteries to support the creation of a thousand gardens in Africa, Slow Food’s most ambitious project for the year and a focus of Terra Madre Day. Since its launch in October 2010, nearly 400 gardens have been adopted in 25 African countries. On Dec. 10, coordinators of one of these gardens in Kenya will be bringing together school children, their parents and neighbouring communities to learn about the importance of the initiative. A highlight of the day will be the preparation of foods from drought resistant crops. Read more on the Thousand Gardens in Africa project.
In Australia, Slow Food Brisbane will be focusing on food security and waste reduction. The convivium will prepare a dinner from food that has been rejected for sale to bring people’s attention to the vast quantity of food that is thrown away in the current food system.
A series of workshops on organic farming aimed at farmers, school and university students and beginner gardeners will be organized throughout Palestine in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jenin. A similar meeting will be taking place at Al Najah University in Nablus and Tulkarem to raise awareness on food security and sustainable farming.
In Mawphlang, Meghalaya, India, an Indigenous food festival will display the food diversity of the region. Taste education and themed seminars, also aimed at young people, will be organized on the occasion.
In Figueres, Spain, 18 restaurants that have joined the KM0 campaign, that works to encourage chefs to use local products, will be participating in a competition for the best local and traditional dishes.
Children in a school in Candelaria, Cuba, will celebrate by planting trees in the school garden and will prepare a meal for farmers from the local community.
Manioc, a major staple food in developing countries and native to South America, will be the focus of the activities of two Brazilian convivia. The aim of the events is to support the production of manioc flour, which is currently at high risk due to restrictive laws on its production.
A gastronomic festival will be organized near Almaty, Kazakhstan, to celebrate the famous wild apple orchards. The last woodland areas home to the Sievers wild apple variety can be found near the city. In the past 30 years, the surface area of these woods has diminished by 20 percent and the apples are now at risk of extinction. Slow Food plays a fundamental role in the protection of this unique world heritage and will use Terra Madre Day to celebrate and promote this variety of apple.
For registered events, click here.
For more information, click here.
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
- San Antonio, Texas Unveils Largest Highway Crossing for Wildlife in ... ›
- Wildlife Crossings a Huge Success - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Climate Change Will Be Sudden and Cataclysmic Unless We Act Now ›
- There's a Heatwave at the Arctic 'Doomsday Vault' - EcoWatch ›
- Marine Heatwaves Destroy Ocean Ecosystems Like Wildfires ... ›
By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
- Biden Likely Plans to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline on Day One ... ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›