Say It Like You Eat It ‘Terra Madre’: Sonia

“I decided to study farming, so I’m an agronomist and I’m Puerto Rican. The reason I started to study was because a lot of my people, all they’d eat were junk food, fast food, GMO. You know we are very orientated with the US, so everything is just junk food. My story is that my family immigrated back to Puerto Rico and I thought it was going to be a tropical fruit paradise and it was totally wrong, there was nothing there, so I decided to become a farmer, an organic farmer, an agronomist. Even though we’re a little island, we have so much now – a lot more varieties, before you could not get a variety. We still have major problems, we have 90% of our food being shipped in, we are very vulnerable, so this is my food story, I am a warrior! And I am trying to grow as much as I can for my country, my people. Even though they think we’re very good, we’re not. We still have so many problems – economical, sickness, racial, a lot. And still, people come together with food and I am very happy be involved in that.”

“Slow Food: definitely people should support it. It’s an economical and social and educational form of well being, we should definitely support it. This is what is so important to my island; we just got a Slow Food a couple of years ago and it’s just rapidly growing. We’re actually going to start a Slow Fish in Puerto Rico because we are an island and we don’t have any fresh fish! Everything comes from some other place frozen. So, this is our goal, our mission, our war – we’re going to do a war against something we don’t produce, against frozen. Eat Slow – that’s our passion, our mission, that’s what we’re coming to. I think we’re getting there. I think we’re getting somewhere good. Here, in Italy, I’m known as the ‘habanero from the Caribbean’. Everything we do is very hot, it’s very Caribbean, so that really does make you smile, doesn’t it? We know for our hot sauce and our salsa and I think it’s because the heat we have from the Caribbean, that’s what we shine – we shine heat, we shine passion, we shine love!”

“If I don’t grow it, I don’t know it.”

[Sonia, Puerto Rico/Caribbean, told on September 25, in Turin, Italy]

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