Thought for food
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Thought for food

Wed 17 Jul 2019 9:57 AM

Leading environmentalists and journalists visited Castello di Potentino, in the Maremma, for an international symposium about food and the environment between June 6 to 11.


The London-based journalism pioneer The Frontline Club and food, wine and cultural hub Castello di Potentino teamed up to highlight pressing environmental issues and address them through a series of talks.


The purpose of the symposium was to spark a dynamic and constructive debate around what we eat, agriculture, the natural world and how we receive information about it through the media.


Guests at the first Frontline-Potentino Symposium included The Economist’s John Hooper, The Sunday Times’ Karen Robinson, human rights lawyer Terry Collingsworth, founder of Rococo Chocolate Chantal Coady OBE, award-winning documentary director Miki Mistrati, and social innovators Nelson and Maggie Reiyia. Writers Katja Meier and Kamin Mohammadi both spoke about their experiences of immigration and issues of identity. All the talks were live-streamed from the southern Tuscan castle to London, Berlin and other international locations.



Charlotte Horton, director of Castello di Potentino explains, “Ancient communities established themselves through food systems. By developing an understanding of their environment they provided not only sustenance for survival, but also the evolution of more complex cultural activities and improved methods of cultivation. Civilization developed from a productive relationship with the land. But now, in times of ultra-urbanization, many societies have become disconnected from the natural environment, leaving a small percentage of the population in control of overall nutrition.”


“This fragmentation between the rural and the urban is marked by a trend towards large scale, heavily industrialized agriculture. Produce is shipped enormous distances for ever-growing populations, which makes individual groups vulnerable and has a significant impact on the environment. When we lose control of our own resources, society is powerless to provide for local communities. If what we eat is a reflection of our community, then what does food that has travel thousands of miles say about who we are?”


Videos of the Symposium’s talks can be watched on The Frontline Club’s YouTube channel.





Summer is a dazzling time of the year at Castello di Potentino as the medieval stronghold sparkles with concerts and feasts, retreats and relaxation.

Don’t miss the following highlights!



July 26-28:
Shepherds’ feast celebrating the arrival of the sheep and the cultural traditions of the transumanza, a two-night residential retreat including cheesemaking and feltmaking workshops


August 2-3, 9pm (free):
Piano concert by Virginia Black


August 12-15, 9pm (free):
Real Time, recitals by Mark Springer


August 8, 10 + 11, 9pm (free):
Bluebeard’s Castle, an Opera by Bela Bartok


August 17, 9pm (free):
La Grande Serata di Canto Popolare 2019


August 21, 9pm (free):
An Italian Tale (Antonino Cicero, Luciano Troja), Morellino Classica Festival


August 26-30:
The Ponderosa & Thyme Clarity Retreat, a four-night residential stay supporting entrepreneurial endeavours through meditation and creative workshops


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