The Slow Food Movement was founded in Italy in 1986 to protest a fast food chain's planned location near the ancient Spanish Steps in Rome. The movement's mantra — "Slow food is good, clean, and fair food" — means that food should taste good and not harm the environment, animals, or humans, and that food producers should receive fair compensation.
As the Slow Food movement grew in popularity — as of 2011, it has 80,000 members and countless nonmember practitioners — culinary schools around the world adopted its values and practices. Slow Food is all about the pleasure of preparing food and enjoying it with friends and family. It's also about supporting local producers and knowing where food comes from, how it's produced, and whether producers are paid fairly. Here are some Slow Food practices that can improve everyone's culinary adventures.
Slow Food = Good Food
- Prepare food that takes a while. Bake a loaf of bread from scratch. Squeeze your own orange juice. Lovingly layer tiramisu for dessert.
- When you eat, make it a social occasion. Linger over your food with friends and family. Even if you're eating by yourself, resolve at least to sit at a table with the TV off and savor your food instead of standing at the refrigerator and wolfing it down.
Slow Food = Clean Food
- Buy locally produced food whenever possible. Local producers generally have more incentive to provide quality food than distant producers whose food is likely to be frozen and shipped across many miles.
Slow Food = Fair Food
- To be environmentally sound and ethically correct, food products should be sustainable and food producers receive fair compensation. Buying locally--from farmers' markets, food artisans, and grocery stores that support local producers--creates a market for locally sustainable foods and eliminates middlemen, which creates more profit for producers.