The Slow Food movement continues to gain in popularity both locally and around the world but what exactly does this term mean and why is it becoming so popular?
In short, the Slow Food movement seeks to preserve local food, gastronomy and food production methods and is based around three guiding principles; good, clean and fair. The movement was established in 1986 to protest against a MacDonald’s restaurant and was later formalised when the founding manifesto was signed in 1989 in Paris, France by delegates from 15 countries. As a result, the movement was – and continues to be – a direct reaction to the fast food industry, industrial food production and food globalisation. Today, the movement has a global reach with over 1 million supporters, 100,000 members and has a presence in some 160 countries around the world.
As well as promoting good quality, healthy food that is responsibility produced and sold at a fair price, the Slow Food movement also runs numerous projects, for example; the Ark of Taste, that’s purpose is to rediscover, catalogue and promote forgotten foods. Slow Food also actively promotes the preservation of agrobiodiversity through the use of seed banks and the ‘in-situ’ preservation of seeds carried out by famers. Slow Food have also been vocal about the rapid and dramatic decline of bee populations around the world and the affects that this will have on our food security over the long term.
As a consumer, there a few very simple steps that you can take to support the Slow Food movement; firstly, choose to buy quality, local produce and where you can, understand where your food came from, how it was produced and who produced it. Farmers markets are a great way to meet the producers and learn about their food. This is one of the reasons why, at Food Provenance, we try to tell you the story behind all our products. Secondly, take the time to prepare, cook and enjoy your meals with family and friends – especially those recipes that have been handed down the generations. While this is easy to say, it does sometimes take a bit of planning to fit this into a busy schedule. One way we have found to make this more achievable is to cook large batches that can be divided up and reheated for lunches or dinners. This trick can also stop you from buying fast food – saving you money. Finally, try to buy and cook seasonal food – not only will the produce be at its best, but it will also be cheaper when the supply is greater.
Hopefully, this post has given you an understanding of the Slow Food movement, what they stand for and how you can get involved. You can find out more about the Slow Food movement and their amazing work at their website www.slowfood.com.