Published on August 23rd, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan2
Slow Food USA is a growing movement formed to protect many aspects of our food supply. Community work, activism, and sensual enjoyment of food are part of this grass roots movement, which is a part of the larger, global Slow Food community and movement. The focus is on “good, clean, and fair food,” as they put it directly.
One key tenet of the slow food movement is diversity in our food system. As a part of this, Slow Food has been active recently in a “sloweb” movement, “Biodiversity Hangs in the Balance,” which involves Slow Food joining in the protest against the planned destruction of Europe’s largest repository of rare berries and fruit (to make way for a residential development).
Diversity and honoring the cycles and slow evolution of nature is part of synchronicity with the environment. This cannot be replaced easily. Keeping natural diversity in our food supply is critical to the holistic health of one’s body.
You can help the Slow Food movement and future humanity by signing and sharing an action petition on Change.org and another one on Food Democracy Now about the threatened loss of this “crown jewel” seed bank of biodiversity. 90% of this seed bank’s collection cannot be found anywhere else on the planet — protecting this seed bank is protecting the dwindling diversity in our food system. According to Food Democracy Now, food scientists are calling this “an assault against biodiversity and the memory of the bitter struggle that kept this renowned seed bank alive during the darkest days of World War II.” The issue isn’t only the seeds, though, it is also those tender plants that cannot be raised easily from seeds….
Slow Food is About Appreciating and Enjoying Your Food
The second part of the equation in Slow Food’s message is simple but wholesome pleasure. Think about eating a peach — you will enjoy it more if you consider the great labor of the people and the tree that helped that peach to grow and make it to your mouth. That pleasure is probably multiplied many times over if you picked it, and also if you stop to consider how that peach carves out strength in your body to move forward and grow in life. And, this appreciation can be even greater if you worked the orchard that it grew in.
So, that one bite into the peach is shared and multiplied in pleasure with patience, perseverance, and sweat. That is delicious! You can enjoy it more just by stepping back and reflecting, and also by delving into the process that helped it to mature and become ready for your consumption. But even more so, a key thing to understand about this movement is that it is about considering ourselves as co-producers, not only as consumers, and finding your role in that production process.
“Fast food, fast life, is what threatens the environment and landscapes,” according to Slow Food. In order to improve the environment and ourselves, we need to slow down. What a progressive movement to help balance out the imbalances of modern life and create positive, helpful change in our lives! Let’s all slow things down a bit.
Photo Credit: jcoterhals via flickr