11 Jan 2020

PARMA ITALIAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2020 BARILLA FOUNDATION INAUGURATES THE “WE, FOOD, OUR PLANET: FEEDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE” EXHIBITION

• The ribbon was cut in the presence of the Mayor of Parma, Federico Pizzarotti, and Luca Barilla, representing the Barilla Foundation

• The multidisciplinary and interactive path aims to raise awareness, focusing on good education about food and the environment, to tackle climate change and guarantee a future for generations to come




The ribbon-cutting ceremony that kicked off the celebrations of Parma 2020 Italian Capital of Culture was led by the Mayor of Parma, Federico Pizzarotti, and Luca Barilla, for the Barilla Foundation. The event coincided with the opening to the public of the exhibition “We, food, our Planet: feeding a sustainable future”, promoted by the Barilla Foundation and set up with the collaboration, among others, of National Geographic Italia, Sustainable Development Solutions Network Mediterranean (SDSN Med), with the contribution of a multidisciplinary scientific advisory board and in collaboration with the Municipality of Parma. From January 11, until April 13, the Galleria San Ludovico (Borgo del Parmigianino, 2) and Portici del Grano (Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1) will host an experiential journey which aims to illustrate the strong link between protecting both our own health and that of the planet, starting with what we put on our plate every day. A multimedia path that enriches the “We, food, our Planet” educational program included in a memorandum of understanding with the Italian Ministry of Education. 

"Food, nutrition and environmental protection are strongly linked and can contribute, directly and indirectly, to the achievement of the SDGs. If properly fed, children can learn, people can lead a healthy and productive life and societies can ensure their prosperity. By taking care of our land and adopting sustainable agriculture, existing and future generations will be able to feed a growing population and mitigate climate change, using less water and producing less greenhouse gases. Through this exhibition, we want to cultivate a sense of active citizenship and growing awareness in people, young and old, that will lead to a rethink of our agri-food systems. In order to bring about this change, our aim is to raise consciousness, focusing on proper education about food and the environment”, said Anna Ruggerini, Operations Director of the Barilla Foundation.

Food production is in fact the human activity that contributes most to climate change (up to 37%), more than the heating (23.6%) and transport (18.5%). This is why we need to rethink the way we produce food. A need that also arises from the forecast that within thirty years there will be around 10 billion people on the planet, which will require more food to be produced. However, by continuing to do so at the current rate and in this way, the damage we will cause to the planet will be incalculable. 

There is an emergency that is there for all to see, our way of life is no longer sustainable. Thousands of kids are asking adults, politicians and anyone with the power to act to do something effective. There is a real risk of animal and plant species becoming extinct and at the same time greenhouse gases have almost doubled compared to 1980, leading to a temperature increase of around 0.8°C compared to the beginning of the century. Climate change, which affects our crops, causes fires, floods or even other environmental catastrophes, is largely caused by the way we produce, distribute and consume food. Every year we use the equivalent of 1.7 planets to live and in the meantime, our agriculture alone is producing 37% of the greenhouse gases, now warming up the planet. We need to reverse this trend, giving rise to a real food revolution starting from schools, teachers and young people”, explained Riccardo Valentini, member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ‐ IPCC, Nobel Peace Prize 2007, a distinguished guest at the event

 "In thirty years there will be ten billion mouths to feed on Earth. Through the exploitation of natural resources, occupation of the land, reduction of biodiversity and activities that dramatically affect the climate, we have already brought the planet to the brink of collapse. To give future generations the prospect of health and well-being, it is essential to rethink the entire food system, from farm to fork. “We inspire people to take care of the planet" is the motto of the National Geographic Society, which is why we have accepted the opportunity to collaborate on this initiative with conviction and enthusiasm with the aim of raising greater awareness of the challenges that lie ahead in both individuals and institutions “, said Marco Cattaneo, Director of National Geographic Italia who acted as guide to the Barilla Foundation exhibition during the event

The exhibition is designed to create a real immersive journey, divided into several parts. The first one, in the Galleria San Ludovico, is a virtual path intended to highlight the global paradoxes of the food system: hunger vs obesity because for every malnourished person in the world there are two who are obese or overweight; food vs fuel because one third of the cereal crop is used to feed animals or produce biofuels, despite the problem of hunger and malnutrition and  waste vs hunger, because, from the field to the fork, 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted every day, four times the amount needed to feed the over 820 million malnourished people worldwide. 

The interactive exhibition aims to explore the different connections that food has with the world around us: it moves from “Food and Culture” to “Food and Cities”, then discussing the profound link between “Food and Sustainable Development Goals” until the section dedicated to the “Virtual Plate”, where we find out if our diet is actually sustainable, for us and for the environment. 

The path to understanding and gaining awareness of our food systems then moves on to the Portici del Grano, where visitors can view the photos of the exhibition created with National Geographic Italia and dedicated to the many different food cultures of the world. Professional photographers have contributed to a journey through exotic places, near and far, highlighting the centrality of food.

“We, food, our Planet: feeding a sustainable future” also offers in-depth courses for children: for schools there is an even more formative experience that includes a guided tour and the exhibition, plus educational activities to suit different age groups and aimed at further consolidating the knowledge covered by the exhibition. 

For reservations and other details, visit: www.noiilciboilpianeta.it/parma2020



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