What is your name? What are the main projects or organisations you are currently involved in? Can you briefly present their activity and your function?
My name is Mara Welton, I am the Director of Programs for Slow Food USA, and my job is to oversee all of the programming across the nation. We are a national office under the whole Slow Food International umbrella.
“Slow Food USA strives to create a world where all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it, and good for the planet.”
We are a grassroots network with many volunteer-led chapters who promote and educate on biodiversity and advocacy issues around the good, clean and fair tenets within our food systems.
How is your work or organisation related to legumes?
In our national year-long campaign called Plant A Seed in 2022 we showcased legumes. Organization-wide we are promoting protein transition as a way to be in line with cultural diets and biological diversity.
How did you fall in love with legumes?
I am from the American Southwest, in the state of Colorado. My family is from the state of New Mexico and my ancestry has been firmly rooted in the region for the last 500 years. I have very fond memories of sorting beans with my grandmother Rose, every Sunday to produce a pot of delicious beans that the family would eat all week long. It was very important to my grandmother that her family would have access to a loving bowl of beans at all times during their busy week! Sitting around the table on Saturday night sorting beans to soak for cooking the next morning was such a special time for connecting with family members and remembering family stories together.
Do you have a favourite legume and why? Tell us about your personal experiences with legumes.
I love pinto beans and bolita beans as an eater, as those are the beans I grew up eating with my family. As a farmer, I love Cherokee Trail of Tears beans for their growing habit – they are such vigorous and prolific plants!