The Slow Food movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986, and is now an international association that promotes food and wine culture, but also defends food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide. It opposes the standardisation of taste, defends the need for consumer information, protects cultural identities tied to food and gastronomic traditions, safeguards foods and cultivation and processing techniques inherited from tradition and defend domestic and wild animal and vegetable species.
Slow Food boasts 83,000 members worldwide and offices (in order of creation) in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the USA, France, Japan, and Great Britain.
Local rootedness and decentralization (plus the ensuing conservation of typicality) - and without forgetting the voluntary nature of its representatives - are the most authentic characteristics of the movement, and the network of contacts it has built over the years represents without doubt its most valuable asset.
I think a lot of people nowdays feel the pace at which we conduct our lives is getting out of hand. We are fortunate to have a high standard of living in Australia and we all possess a great number of time saving gadgets... but what we paradoxically seem to lack is time itself!
Food is no exception, so when we work long hours, get home tired, pop some processed food into the microwave, eat quickly while watching TV oblivious to taste, texture, or other culinary sensations, then head off to bed, we seem to be missing something from life! Better to take some time out, prepare your food from real, fresh, and healthy ingredients, then sit down and eat thoughtfully and slowly, preferably with good company, and retire for the day feeling rested and well.
This trend for slower living and a more authentic existence is becoming more and more prominent. Organic foods are gaining a foothold in supermarkets, and local markets and produce seem to be making a come back. In Manly we now have three organic stores, compared to just one a few years ago. In England microbreweries are incredibly popular with hundred's of small beer producers making quality drink with a local and authentic flavour.
Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization,
first invented the machine and then took it as its life model. We are enslaved by speed
and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus:
Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to
eat Fast Foods. To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed
before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction.
A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal
folly of Fast Life. May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting
enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and
savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food. In the name
of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and
So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer. That is what real culture is all
about: developing taste rather than demeaning it.
Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of
qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement,
with the little snail as its symbol.
Material adapted from the Slow Food movement website. Visit Slow Food or phone Australia toll free 1800 009 684.
To find out more about the slow food movement, eating well and your individual nutritional needs contact us!