Slow Food

The Slow Food movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy to combat fast food. It claims to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an ecoregion. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. The movement has since expanded globally to over 83,000 members in 122 countries.

Slow Food organization

Slow Food began in Italy with the foundation of its forerunner organization, Arcigola, in 1986 to resist the opening of an McDonalds near the Spanish steps in Rome. [cite web
url=http://www.slowfood.com/about_us/eng/history.lasso?id=3E6E345B167021985FRUH30238C1
title=Bra, Serralunga d’Alba and Barolo, Italy
publisher=Slow Food
work=History
accessdate=2007-03-04
] The Slow Food organization spawned by the movement has expanded to include over 83,000 members with chapters in over 122 countries. All totaled, 800 local "convivia" chapters exist. 360 convivia in Italy — to which the name "condotta" (singular) / "condotte" (plural) applies — are composed of 35,000 members, along with 450 other regional chapters around the world. The organizational structure is decentralized: each convivium has a leader who is responsible for promoting local artisans, local farmers, and local flavors through regional events such as "Taste Workshops", wine tastings, and farmers' markets.

Offices have been opened in Switzerland (1995), Germany (1998), New York City (2000), France (2003), Japan (2005), and most recently in the United Kingdom. The head offices are located in Bra, near the famous city of Turin, northern Italy. Numerous publications are put out by the organization, in several languages. In the US, "the Snail" is the quarterly of choice, while Slow Food puts out literature in several other European nations. Recent efforts at publicity include the world's largest food and wine fair, the [http://www.salonedelgusto.com/ Salone del Gusto] , a biennial cheese fair in Bra called "Cheese", the Genoan fish festival called [http://www.slowfish.it/welcome_eng.lasso SlowFish] , and Turin's Terra Madre ("Mother Earth") world meeting of food communities.

In 2004 Slow Food opened a University of Gastronomic Sciences [cite web
url=http://www.unisg.it/eng/index.php
title=University of Gastronomic Science
accessdate=2007-03-04
] at Pollenzo, in Piedmont, and Colorno, in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Carlo Petrini and Massimo Montanari are the leading figures in the creation of the University, whose goal is to promote awareness of good food and nutrition.

Objectives

The Slow Food movement incorporates a series of objectives within its mission, including:

* forming and sustaining seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties in cooperation with local food systems
* developing an "Ark of Taste" for each ecoregion, where local culinary traditions and foods are celebrated
* preserving and promoting local and traditional food products, along with their lore and preparation
* organizing small-scale processing (including facilities for slaughtering and short run products)
* organizing celebrations of local cuisine within regions (for example, the Feast of Fields held in some cities in Canada)
* promoting "taste education"
* educating consumers about the risks of fast food
* educating citizens about the drawbacks of commercial agribusiness and factory farms
* educating citizens about the risks of monoculture and reliance on too few genomes or varieties
* developing various political programs to preserve family farms
* lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy
* lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering
* lobbying against the use of pesticides
* teaching gardening skills to students and prisoners
* encouraging ethical buying in local marketplaces

From time to time, Slow Food intervenes directly in market transactions; for example, Slow Food was able to preserve four varieties of native American turkey by ordering 4,000 of their eggs and commissioning their raising and slaughtering and delivery to marketFact|date=June 2007.

Impact

It is difficult to gauge the extent of the success of the Slow Food movement, considering that the organization itself is still very young. The current grassroots nature of Slow Food is such that few people in Europe and especially the United States are aware of it.

Statistics show that Europe, and Germany in particular, is a much bigger consumer of organics than the US. [cite web
url=http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/qual/organic/facts_en.pdf
publisher=Commission européenne, Direction générale de l'agriculture et du développement rural
title=Organic Farming in the European Union — Facts and Figures
date=November 3 2005
accessdate=2007-03-04
pages=30 pages
] Slow Food has contributed to the growing awareness of health concerns in Europe, as evidenced by this fact, but on society as a whole, Slow Food has had little effect. An example of this is the fact that tourists visit Slow Food restaurants more than locals, but Slow Food and its sister movements are still young. In an effort to spread the ideals of anti-fast food, Slow Food has targeted the youth of the nations in primary and secondary schools. Volunteers help build structural frameworks for school gardens and put on workshops to introduce the new generation to the art of farming.

low Food USA

As of 2008, Slow Food USA has a membership of roughly 16,000. Notable members include, Alice Waters, Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan.

In 2008 Slow Food USA hosted its largest gathering to date when 50,000 people descend on San Francisco for the inaugural Slow Food Nation. Founded by Alice Waters it was the largest celebration of American food in history.cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Slow Food Savors Its Big Moment |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/dining/23slow.html?ei=5087&em=&en=5101c243fd80d293&ex=1216958400&pagewanted=all |quote= |work=New York Times |date=July 23, 2008 |accessdate=2008-07-23 ]

Criticism

Steven Shaw, a food writer and a founder of the food Web site eGullet, says the Slow Food movement succeeded because it "mixed hedonism with a leftist political agenda". He further argues that the movement's "strong antitechnology, antiglobalization views are lost on the average member." Other organizations involved in the protection of traditional plants and farm animals varieties dislike the Slow Food movement's politics and claim that their main goal has shifted to self-promotion. [John Seabrook, "Renaissance Pears: Saving the favorite fruits of the Medici.", The New Yorker, September 2005, [http://www.booknoise.net/johnseabrook/stories/culture/pears/pears.pdf PDF version] ]

The Slow Food movement's arguments parallel those of the anti-globalization movement, Greenpeace and green parties against global export of monocultured foodstuffs, especially GMOs. A central point related to these arguments is that transport prices are artificially low because the true cost of fuel (including the protection of shipping lanes and military interventions around the world) are not factored into the price of goods, and are instead paid for indirectly through personal taxes.

See also

* Cittaslow
* Eco-syndicalism
* Local food
* Low carbon diet
* Nutrition
* Slow Movement
* Terra Madre
* Slow design

References

Further reading

* cite web
url=http://blog.oup.com/2006/11/oxford_companio6/
title=Oxford Companion to Food, Slow Food an Excerpt
publisher=Oxford University Press
work=Oxford Companion to Food
accessdate=2007-03-04

*Geoff Andrews, "The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure" (2008: London, Pluto Press)
*Carlo Petrini, "Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, and Fair" (2007: Rizzoli International Publications)
*Carlo Petrini, "Slow Food Revolution: A New Culture for Dining and Living" (2006: Rizzoli International Publications)

External links

* [http://www.slowfood.com/ Slow Food official website, including links to subsidiary national websites.]
* [http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/03/slow-food-dinner-party-101/ Video: Slow Food Dinner Party 101]
* [http://www.gayeton.com/photoworks/ Photography: SLOW. Life in A Tuscan Town]


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  • Slow food — Cet escargot stylisé est le logo Slow Food. Le Slow Food est un mouvement fondé en Italie en 1986 par Carlo Petrini en réaction à l émergence du mode de consommation Fast food. Le mouvement cherche à préserver la cuisine écorégionale ainsi que… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Slow Food — Logo Slow Food an einem Restaurant in Santorin Slow Food (engl. slow – langsam; food – Essen) ist ein Begriff, der von einer gleichnamigen Organisation als Ausdruck für genussvolles, bewusstes und regionales Essen geprägt wurde und eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • slow food — /sloʊ ˈfud/ (say sloh foohd) noun food which is the end product of a chain of local agriculture and processing, prepared in the context of a traditional cuisine. {modelled in opposition to fast food; name of the Slow Food Movement founded by… …   Australian English dictionary

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