People have been asking me what Slow Food is. It's a hard question to answer, especially as the concept is new to me, but the more I read about it and think about it, the more I know that this is something I am passionate and excited about.
The Slow Food International website (www.slowfood.com) details much more about the philosophy behind the movement, but I guess I should become well-versed at explaining it to people, so here goes nothing.
Slow Food is a worldwide organization that supports many different farmers and food producers. It was started in order to counteract the fast food phenomenon that swept the world and still has a hold in North America and across the globe. Slow Food Conviviums (chapters) strive to educate the public about where the food they eat comes from, how it was grown or raised, how it got from the earth to the plate, and what kind of footprint it left during that journey.
Surely we have all eaten foods that we may not be proud of, foods that have come from massive factories which are focused on increasing profits and ignoring any kind of environmental, political or health issues surrounding their production. Well, it is time to take a step back and look at what we are supporting. There are many food producers, local and global, that take steps to ensure they are producing food in a sustainable, environmentally conscious and fair way. We need to educate ourselves and others about the importance of being smart consumers or even looking at ourselves as co-producers rather than consumers.
Above all, we need to remember how to slow down and enjoy the pleasures of food. In every culture and every country across the world, people come together around the table. We need to stop relying on fast, ready-made, prepared foods and start cooking.
Nisha and I are really excited about all the directions Slow Food Winnipeg may take us. We are planning some really exciting events for this summer and hope to spark a lot of interest in the Slow Food Philosophy and lifestyle. Visits to local food producers, biodynamic wine tasting events, gardening and composting seminars and cooking classes and chef demonstrations are among some ideas we are working on.
Slowing down really does seem to be the best way to go!