To continue along the themes of two books I read recently, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and A Short History of Progress, I want to highlight today the organization Slow Food International. Its goal is “to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable.” Slow Food has several specific ways in which it works towards this goal, including:
- Linking producers and co-producers, by organizing “numerous fairs, events and markets to foster a greater connection between producers and co-producers and to showcase products of excellent gastronomic quality.”
- Defending biodiversity, via the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. This separate entity has several projects including cataloging marginalized or disappearing breeds (the Ark of Taste), supporting artisan food producers (the Presidia), and holding a world meeting of food communities (Terra Madre).
- Taste education, through a variety of educational workshops, often organized at the local level.
All this work is important in promoting a more peaceful and sustainable lifestyle. The Slow Food Manifesto captures this importance. Here is an excerpt, but I highly recommend you read the entire thing:
In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.
There are branches of Slow Food International in many countries, at both the national and more local levels. You can search for organizations in your country here. I recommend checking out the Slow Food International website, as it contains a wealth of information.