What did one Italian man do when McDonald’s moved to town? He started a global movement to restore the integrity of food. The move was not so much against the McDonald’s personally, but more as a measure to combat the invasiveness of gigantic international business’ interests. The Slow Food organization, formed in Bra, Italy, in 1986, now boasts over 100,000 members in 132 countries.
So what exactly is Slow Food, what do they stand for and what can you do to become involved? As usual, eco18 does their homework and breaks it down for you – so you don’t have to!
Slow Food strives for communities to discover and revive their rich cultural heritage through the appreciation of local food. In today’s fast paced society, it’s easy for consumers to turn to fast food and other modern conveniences. The Slow Food logo, the snail, serves as a reminder that we should slow down, escape the fast life and rediscover the rich varieties and aromas of local cuisines.
In the USA, Slow Food currently focuses on two main campaigns. The first is to spread the Good, Clean, Fair principles:
- Good – The word good can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For Slow Food, the idea of good means enjoying delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals. The pleasures of good food can also help to build community and celebrate culture and regional diversity.
- Clean – When we talk about clean food, we are talking about nutritious food that is as good for the planet as it is for our bodies. It is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promotes biodiversity.
- Fair – We believe that food is a universal right. Food that is fair should be accessible to all, regardless of income, and produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.
Continuing on from that is the From Plate to Planet campaign, whereby members are involved in:
- Raising public awareness, improving access and encouraging the enjoyment of foods that are local, seasonal and sustainably grown
- Caring for the land and protecting biodiversity for today’s communities and future generations
- Performing educational outreach within their communities and working with children in schools and through public programs
- Identifying, promoting and protecting fruits, vegetables, grains, animal breeds, wild foods and cooking traditions at risk of disappearance
- Advocating for farmers and artisans who grow, produce, market, prepare and serve wholesome food
- Promoting the celebration of food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture and community
The Slow Food movement is definitely something that we recommend learning more about. We predict that what started as a McDonalds rebellion in Italy will grow exponentially in the near future. Let’s add it to our Food Trends for 2011!