Monday, February 20, 2012
The Slow Food Movement
What is slow food? Well if you don't know don't feel bad I didn't either. I mean I knew of the concept but did not know it had a name let alone a whole 'movement'. When my daughter, Sarah, came back from studying abroad in Italy however, I learned all about it. Sarah was able to take some classes in Italian life and food, and slow food is more than a movement there...its part of the lifestyle. Living there immersed in that way of life reinforced what she was learning in her classes. She came home and shared this way of eating with us...check out the post I wrote about our Italian Feast.
The Slow Food Movement officially began in Italy in the 80's and has since spread worldwide. Slowfoodusa.org says “Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”
The Slow Food Movement arose from a need to protect local food traditions and people's interest in the food they are eating – where it comes from, how it tastes, and how it effects our bodies and our environment. It is a counter to the continuing rise of fast food and fast lifestyle.
The Slow Food tenets are for Good-Clean-Fair food. Good food: food that is fresh, flavorful, and seasonal. Clean Food: Food that does not harm our bodies or our environment. Fair Food: Food that is available and priced fairly for all consumers and fair pay for small producers and for laborers.
“A new idea of ‘local economies' based on food, agriculture, tradition and culture underlies the Slow Food philosophy as we believe the micro-economies of local communities have the potential to work in a way that is financially rewarding and respectful of surrounding ecosystems, human health and cultures. “ ~ Slowfood.com
As I said, Sarah discovered the Slow Food lifestyle in Italy, where a typical dinner lasted several hours. People ate slowly, they chewed slowly, they savored the food they were eating and the company they were with. Courses in restaurants are served in such a way as to allow more than enough time for people to eat slowly and with awareness. People slow down and enjoy the quality of the food they are consuming, it is not in any way 'fast food'. Sarah loved this discovery. It has had an impact on her life and the way she enjoys her meals, especially celebratory meals. When we go out she always reminds us to slow down and savor our food and enjoy the experience. She has noticed the difference in American restaurants, how they hurry you through your courses, bring you your check quickly and tend to make you feel uncomfortable if you linger over your coffee at the end of your meal.
In our rural area we are lucky to have a local restaurant that follows the Slow Food Movement, freshly made, local, seasonal foods in a slow paced, relaxed atmosphere. I will be reviewing this restaurant in an upcoming post. It is one of my very favorite places to go to enjoy food, friends, and family. Watch for my review of ' The Cellar Restaurant'.