We created a fast world as humanity. Everything we do and consume needs to be fast in order to keep up with the ever-changing world. Think about yourself, think about the quick and probably unhealthy breakfast before going to work, or think about the dinner that ended up ordering a hamburger since either you were so lazy to prepare or did not have time. Sounds familiar, right? Luckily, there is a way to escape this rushed order. Start with the food you eat, since it affects the rest of your lifestyle too. Save the planet while enjoying your quality food. Let’s learn how you can do this by looking at the Slow Food Movement!
What is Slow Food?
To put it simply, it is the opposite of fast food. Slow food is a social organization whose philosophy is good, clean, and fair food for everyone. According to the movement, food should taste good and eating should be a process that we enjoy rather than just taking nutrients. We shouldn’t damage the environment in the production of food. That is how the movement defines clean food. And the fair part accounts for both the consumers and the producers. Food should be affordable and accessible for the consumer and the producer should be awarded fairly for their products. In a nutshell, Slow Food is good for everyone on the planet, including the planet!
How the Slow Food Movement Began
In 1986, one of the biggest globally known fast-food chains, McDonald’s, opens a place near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Carlo Petrini, the founder of the movement, wants to react to this threat to traditional food culture and he takes action by gathering his thoughts around the slow food movement. Even though it originates from Italy, the movement becomes official and the manifesto is signed in Paris by Carlo Petrini and other activists. Basically, the Slow Food Movement was founded against the concept of ‘fast food’ You can read the books of Carlo Petrini and understand the philosophy and goals of the movement better.
What Do the Slow Food Movement Do?
The movement supports a more sustainable food system rather than an industrial one. With all the morals in mind, the Slow Food Movement wants to protect the biodiversity of the food in the world and educate people for both the production and consumption of the food. Also, the movement organizes plenty of international events to connect the people who have an interest in Slow Food.
A branch of the movement, Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity owns several projects that you can check here. Ark of Taste is the project where they collect and keep the data of quality food that belongs to cultures and traditions. It tries to find spectacular food that is unique to its place all around the world. Would you like to learn what is special to your region/country and needs to be preserved? Check the official website of the project and take good care of that food! You can also make an application to nominate a food with a detailed explanation through the website. Under the biodiversity part of the movement, we see some slow food concepts like “slow meat, slow fish, slow bees” They want to draw attention to excessive consumption and industrialized production of the particular food.
The Slow Food Movement provides food and taste education all over the world. There is a kit that you can use to learn more about your senses and taste. Also, the Ark of Taste project offers kits for children at school to train them from younger ages for a better environment with quality food.
Another brilliant project of Slow Food is Terra Madre Network. The project aims to connect food producers, the youth, NGOs, and community representatives in the name of good, clean, and fair food. The network unites to give small-scale producers the appreciation they need and support them in terms of conditions. Did you know there are Slow Food Gardens in Africa that are planted by the locals? The movement support planting of traditional foods in a sustainable way all over Africa including school gardens!
How to contribute?
Are you excited and thinking of ways to contribute this movement? Well, you have various options.
- Embrace the philosophy of the movement. Try eating local, for example! Buy from the farmer that you know s/he worked hard to produce the fruit you eat.
- Make sure that production is environment-friendly and the workers have good conditions.
- Check the website and be an official member or donate. You can join the communities in your region and attend meetings or participate in projects.
- As Slow Food has a global partnership with Airbnb, they offer you foodie experiences while staying at a location. It is a great option to try out this slow lifestyle while supporting sustainable tourism.
Overall, the movement tries to remind us to respect the world again. Instead of seeing all the animals and plants as a food source, we should learn to live with them. Eat wisely, do not consume more than you need, do not pollute nature, be conscious about where your food comes from. Slow down your world by starting with Slow Food!