What is slow food?
Slow food is a literal term that is meant to celebrate preparing and eating food slowly. As an official movement, it came about as a reaction to fast food. However, slow food in practice has existed in different forms for many centuries. Slow food puts an emphasis on the pleasures of food preparation, eating and gathering with other people to enjoy a shared meal. The slow food movement also emphasizes sustainable agricultural practices, fair trade, and universal access to healthy food.
The official Slow Food movement and manifesto was originally founded in the late 1980s in Italy with the aim of promoting and protecting regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life. A fast food restaurant was set to open in Rome and local residents were not happy about it and what it might mean for their local food traditions; and so, the slow food movement began and was as much a cultural as a political movement.
While the slow food movement first began in Italy, it is now present around the world, including having a big presence in the USA. American food writers, Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser have greatly popularized slow food in the USA. Alice Waters, a famous American chef, founded Slow Food Nation.
What are the benefits?
While Slow Food is a membership group, you can follow a slow food way of life all on your own. All you need to do is to begin preparing food mindfully, with greater attention to ingredients and preparation. As you do this you will become more aware of exactly what you’re eating and where your food came from. And, by slowing down - literally and figuratively - when eating, you will be better able appreciate the taste and texture of the food. Slow Food is a flexible food movement in the sense that it is not so much about what you eat, as the source or your food and how you prepare it.
In addition, if you do decide to join a Slow Food local group, the community is a great way to make new friend and get your family outdoors, learning about farming and nutrition.
How can I get involved?
Join the official Slow Food movement by joining a local group.
How do you get started on your own?
Preparing your own food:
1) Buy whole ingredients. Cook and eat them.
2) Avoid processed foods and long ingredient lists. Eat real whole foods. Like olive oil!
3) Try to grow some of your own food. Even if just in containers on your windowsill.
4) Whenever possible, know the source of your food. Where did it come from? How was it grown?
5) Buy local food and buy food when it is in season!
In your community:
1) Prepare food and eat with others – not just family and friends. Gather new people and perspectives around your table.
2) Join a community garden and grow food, invite others to grow food too!
3) As mentioned above, connect with your local Slow Food group.
4) Meet the people who grow your food. Shop at a farmers market or farm stand, visit a farm or invest in a farm that offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program by getting a weekly farm basket delivery.
5) Learn about your local or regional food history and cultural dishes.
Are you involved in the slow food movement? Tell us about your experience in our Facebook Page!