by Green Gourmet K
Have y’all heard of the Slow Food movement? Well, I had not until a couple of years ago. The movement was born in Italy and grew into an international organization that supports good, clean and fair food for all. Slow Food is all about eating local, seasonal food from sources that do not harm the environment, animal welfare or human health.
The Slow Food Manifesto was signed at the inception of the organization and it serves as a declaration against standardized food choices and a fast lifestyle:
“Born and nurtured under the sign of Industrialization, this century first invented the machine and then modelled its lifestyle after it. Speed became our shackles. We fell prey to the same virus: ‘the fast life’ that fractures our customs and assails us even in our own homes, forcing us to ingest “fast- food”.
Homo sapiens must regain wisdom and liberate itself from the ‘velocity’ that is propelling it on the road to extinction. Let us defend ourselves against the universal madness of ‘the fast life’ with tranquil material pleasure. Against those – or, rather, the vast majority – who confuse efficiency with frenzy, we propose the vaccine of an adequate portion of sensual gourmandise pleasures, to be taken with slow and prolonged enjoyment.
Appropriately, we will start in the kitchen, with Slow Food. To escape the tediousness of “fast-food”, let us rediscover the rich varieties and aromas of local cuisines.
In the name of productivity, the ‘fast life’ has changed our lifestyle and now threatens our environment and our land (and city) scapes. Slow Food is the alternative, the avant-garde’s riposte.
Real culture is here to be found. First of all, we can begin by cultivating taste, rather than impoverishing it, by stimulating progress, by encouraging international exchange programs, by endorsing worthwhile projects, by advocating historical food culture and by defending old-fashioned food traditions.
Slow Food assures us of a better quality lifestyle. With a snail purposely chosen as its patron and symbol, it is an idea and a way of life that needs much sure but steady support.”
I love that. We all need to be reminded to slow down and enjoy food for the pleasure and health of it. But Slow Food is so much more.
This is from the Slow Food USA site: “Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”
Many cities have their own chapters and in Columbia and Charleston, SC the Slow Food chapters are a wealth of information on where to eat and buy local food. The chapters can be adapted to the needs and culture of that city. These organizations do an incredible job of connecting growers, producers, chefs, and consumers from all walks of life. Many of them are also involved in basic food education and outreach.
When I moved to lovely Savannah I was floundering in my search for quality sources of local food. I searched for their Slow Food chapter and was surprised to find they did not have one. The website said “Savannah Slow Food – looking for new leadership,” and that was all the prompting I needed. I emailed the Slow Food USA folks and they hooked me up with a small group of dedicated individuals that were also interested in establishing a chapter. So off we go!
Two of the ladies who have really gotten the chapter off the ground are very talented individuals, I hope you will check out their blogs:
But here’s the big news . . .
Slow Food Savannah was officially established yesterday! Our big, public debut is this Saturday at the Forsyth Park Farmer’s Market. We will be there at 9:00am and looking forward to speaking with anyone interested in supporting this new organization. If you’re in Savannah, I hope you’ll come by. We would love to share ideas, figure out the needs of the community, and help build connections that will support good, clean and fair food for all in Savannah.