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Terra Madre highlights food sustainability

He said the average American dinner travels 1,500 miles before it hits the dinner plate or fast food bag. With how far our food currently travels, he said our model is not sustainable in the long run.

Convenience and living too fast he said resulted in our current food dilemma, because when people are on the run their food choice can be unhealthier than if they stopped to prepare a meal. For anyone that says they have no time to prepare a meal, he responded that they should slow down. He said sharing meals with family members is important too.

"Appreciate the fact that the food you are going to be cooking and using it will lengthen your lifetime," said Verrigni. "Look beyond right now. You don't have to spend hours and hours to cook. I love it, but not everyone has that time. Be very aware of what you're buying and actually take the time to sit down with your family and have a meal at least once a week."

While sustainable local food growth was a theme of the conference there was also stress placed preserving the heritage and culture of food. In order to achieve this goal, the conference highlighted four groups of people that need to be cultivated and seriously listened to, which include indigenous people, women, farmers and senior citizens.

"You look at each one of those groups, they really hold much of our old food cultures, and if you don't tape them and listen to them and record them they will be lost," said Verrigni.

Right now, he said, these groups are under appreciated and under valued in our food culture, so they need to be risen to their level of importance.

To instill change in our food culture he said the youth are a vital element in the transformation. At the conference he could tell there was a strong food movement globally in today's youth.

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