“How often in the course and crush of our daily lives do we afford ourselves moments to truly relish – to truly be present in – the act of preparing and eating food? For most of us, our enjoyment of food has fallen victim to the frenetic pace of our lives and to our increasing estrangement, in a complex commercial economy, from the natural processes by which food is grown and produced. Packaged, artificial, and unhealthful, fast food is only the most dramatic example of the degradation of food in our lives, and of the deeper threats to ourcultural, political, and environmental well-being.” deliberates Alice Waters in the foreword of the book Slow Food – The Case for Taste by Carlo Petrini, founder of the International Slow Food movement.
She’s got a point doesn’t she?
Simply walking the aisles of the supermarkets is confirmation that our habits and demands in respect to food are increasingly leaning towards the “fast food” scales.
Microwave dinners, frozen fruits and vegetables, packaged foods, processed foods, fruits and vegetables that are available all-year-round, take-away ready-to-eat meals, breakfast in the car on the way to work, lunch in front of the computer, apartments that are being built with a tiny kitchenette … if you can relate to any of that then maybe it might be advantageous for you to keep reading and explore the philosophy of the Slow Food movement.
What is the Slow Food Movement?
The Slow Food movement has its origins in the 1980s in Italy and is dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional foods and the pleasures of eating well, as well as the concept of eco-gastronomy – the strong connections between plate and planet. Slow Food inspires people to rediscover the joys of eating and understanding the importance of caring where their food comes from, who makes it and how it’s made.
How fitting that it originated in Italy?! If you’ve ever been, you’ll know exactly what I mean. True story… I was in a restaurant in Rome and complimented the waiter for the delicious pasta I was eating, saying “molto buono” (very good). To my surprise “mama” emerged from the kitchen waving her wooden spoon, saying “It is not just good, it is the best. The best in Roma!” and she honestly meant it with all her heart.
I love Italians for their enthusiasm, passion and fervor for food. It is second to none. An attribute that is sadly missing in so many of us Aussies. At what point did we lose our desire to stop and enjoy a home-cooked meal with loved ones? At what point did we place more importance on working a 10+ hour day to maintaining the health and wellbeing of ourselves and loved ones?
Maybe we can learn a thing or two from the Slow Food movement.
Here’s a few things to get you started:
• get to know where your food comes from, who makes it and how it’s made.
• go to a growers’ market in your local area and start supporting farmers who subscribe to this philosophy
• start eating foods that are in-season
• educate your children about the where your food comes from, who makes it and how it’s made
• rediscover the joy of a home-cooked meal shared with loved ones.
Every time you buy a product you are saying to that company, ‘keep on doing what you are doing.’ You are supporting everything that company does: every source of raw material, every packaging solution, every environmental standard that they are undertaking, every form of employee relations, every marketing choice.
Become more aware of your choices both at the supermarket and at home and join the bandwagon for rediscovering the pleasures of eating well.
Click here to read the version on www.myspringday.com.au