MakeFoodNotWar org Launches at Slow Food`s Terra Madre
Released on = October 26, 2006, 3:37 pm
Press Release Author = Michael Tulipan
Industry = Non Profit
Press Release Summary = Launching at Slow Food's Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy on October 26, 2006, MakeFoodNotWar.org is an initiative highlighting the importance of sustainability, food access and shared culinary traditions in conflict prevention and resolution. MakeFoodNotWar.org has partnered at the forum with the Lebanese delegation, a group of farmers, producers, chefs and scholars dedicated to preserving Lebanon's food traditions, led by esteemed food journalist and featured speaker Kamal Mouzawak.
Press Release Body = In the aftermath of this summer's conflict, Lebanese food world luminaries are journeying together to share "a dream of respect and responsibility towards earth¨ and man" with delegates from the 150 countries participating at Terra Madre and the accompanying Salone Del Gusto artisanal food show. In 2004, Mouzawak founded Souk el Tayeb, the first true farmers' market in Lebanon. The renowned medinahs of the Middle East had nearly disappeared from Lebanon following the civil war, with the few remaining selling bargain imported goods. Souk el Tayeb was created to provide direct contact between consumers and bakers, farmers and producers. Mouzawak designed the souk to be "a place where both sides can meet-producers and consumers, thinkers and activists, dreamers and achievers\" though in reality it has become the focus of efforts to preserve Lebanese culinary traditions.
MakeFoodNotWar.org will advocate for more sustainable production and farming practices, linking over-farming and over-fishing to the world's conflicts. Co-founder and Project Director Iara Lee says, "The way much of the world's food is produced and distributed contributes to exploitation, economic insecurity and environmental degradation, all of which can lead to and exacerbate conflict." Co-Founder George Gund hopes that, "If people have more exposure to one another's culinary traditions, they might be less likely to go to war against each other."
A centerpiece of the initiative, the Food Not War Seed Fund provides grants for grassroots organizations around the world working to promote sustainable food systems, the preservation of local food traditions, and the use of food as a basis for cultural dialogue. With grants typically in the range of $5,000 to $10,000, the fund focuses on sustainability and conflict prevention/resolution projects. To be considered for funding, applicants can submit a proposal synopsis of no more than 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MakeFoodNotWar.org shares the goals of Souk El Tayeb's own Seeds for Peace, which supports small farmers and artisans who create high quality products and continue local traditions. Seeds for Peace also aims to build recognition for the contributions of food producers to Lebanese society. Yearly, ten producers, farmers and advocates will receive the Asdiqaa' el Ardd "Friend of the Earth" award highlighting their achievement in the areas of food production and social affairs.
George Gund and Iara Lee founded MakeFoodNotWar.org following their recent launch of MakeFilmsNotWar.org, which shares the joint purpose of developing understanding and peace through aspects of culture that unite people rather than divide them. Both campaigns have the goal of highlighting the need for alternative solutions to today's conflicts. MakeFilmsNotWar.org, launched at the Venice Film Festival in conjunction with the Beirut Film Festival, which Lee and Gund organized and sponsored in the immediate aftermath of this summer's war. Persevering through the crisis, the festival went off as scheduled. But with ordnance littering farms and destroyed infrastructure, farmers were faced with a difficult harvest even as Souk El Tayeb remained vibrant. In the war's aftermath, Lee was inspired by Mouzawak to create MakeFoodNotWar.org.