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Change the World (One Bite at a Time). Making Utopia Real #5

One of the more remarkable developments of the last decade or so is the Slow Food movement. (It has now grown well beyond a focus on food and eating.) It has spread throughout the world and has many thousands of members.

The name may be a bit misleading. It is about more than slowness. The slow approach has three guiding values: good, clean and fair.
Good means that food tastes good – which means respecting the ingredients and enhancing the flavours rather than covering them up or producing blandness. This will mean respecting the land and how these things grow too (much reducing the influence of the agri-industries) and restoring a sense of the local and seasonal.

Clean, means a respect for the earth and the environment. Pollution isn’t healthy and it doesn’t make sense for what is nourishing to be produced in an unhealthy way. This is closely related to sustainability – relying on supplementing soils or animal feed is not sustainable. This also has implications for how food is transported (once again emphasising the local).

Fair. It is unfair that the poor feed the rich. It is unfair that those farmers in the richer countries are sometimes paid less than the cost of production for what they produce. Local farmers markets, community supported agriculture and altering of international trade all fall under the heading of “fair”.

As you can see Slow Food has quite a large agenda. To change our relationship to our food and how it is produced will alter our life and our world. This is my kind of revolution – one that is about a better quality of life for all those involved (more wealth for the poor, more time for the wealthy).

For a great introduction to the movement its founder, Carlo Petrini has written Slow Food Nation. There are numerous websites too (there will probably be one for whatever country you are in). Perhaps the best place to start is slowfood.com, they have a website that is available in several languages.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • WonderingSoul 2009/09/12, 8:08 am

    Thanks for this Evan. I’d never heard of Slow Food Nation but I’m interested. I feel very strongly about fairtrade and always try to buy fair trade stuff.
    We are so horribly privileged in the Western World…

  • Evan 2009/09/12, 8:42 am

    Hi WS. The thing I love about Slow Food Nation is that it is concerned about the quality of the food as well as the fairness of how it is produced. Thanks for your comment.

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