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Do You Know What are You Eating?

Bologna.

In Italy, there is also good stuff, not just contradictions, and one of these developments, a very good news, is that more and more people are interested in organic food or food “Km 0” and choose this, for their family, despite the economic crisis.

Italians finally seemed to have come to understand (mostly through wordmouth) how important is to know what to eat, and people are wondering where it get out the food what come in supermarkets.

“Km 0” means that local farmers and breeders sell their products: fruits and vegetables but also cheese, bread, olive oil, vinegar and meat, directly to consumers–no intermediaries, no supermarkets, no transport and pollution. They organize markets in city districts. Farmers are organized in associations, like “Coldiretti,” which protects the quality of products, equitable work and salary.

Here,in Bologna, there are also vegetable gardens being developed on rooftops and in housing projects, where residents work together in community gardens. These are a vertical garden where fruits and vegetables grow inside plastic bottles cut in half. The project was started by Department of Agriculture and the Municipality with Horticity, a company that has experienced hydroponic culture in suburban areas in South America, Asia and Africa. They use coconut fiber and pumice stone instead of the earth and pumps and basins for water and fertilizing, which minimizes wastes because the mixture go down in the bottle and then go back into circulation.

How much does it cost to give birth to an hydroponic garden? The first square meter approximately cost 200 euros, then they amortize charges.

This is not “km 0”, this is “cm 0”! And is very good for healthy food and for integration between different peoples. This model of Bologna, is a great model.

Alessandra V. Massagrande is a historian living in Bologna.