The Slow Food movement began in the late 1980’s as a counter-revolution from the popularity of fast food and fast living. The Slow Food philosophy is based on preserving the traditions and culture of food that is local, seasonal, grown in a manner that is healthy to us and to the earth, and respectful of the people who produce it.
Your local farmer’s market is a great place to start your own Slow Food movement. With local products, from fruits and vegetables, to breads, cheeses, honey, preserves, and meat, you can be assured of your selections by asking questions directly to the farmer. Buying food that is local and in season is also a way to ensure that the flavors are at their peak. Since the food has not sat on a cargo plane or in the back of a freight truck for the last few days it will be fresh- perhaps even harvested the very morning of the market!
In addition to taste, the Slow Food movement respects practices that have the least negative impact on our environment. By avoiding chemicals in the growing of food, the soil, water and air stay healthy, while also keeping harmful toxins out of the bodies of the farmers who produce the food, and the people who eat it.
Some people may argue that the cost of shopping at the farmer’s markets is very high, and incomparable to the mega grocery store. But with the increasing costs of fuel, having food shipped in from halfway around the globe just doesn’t make economic sense. Today, local products can be found at prices comparable to grocery prices at your local farmer’s markets, and you are supporting your neighborhood farmer.
Lastly, the Slow Food movement recognizes the link between food, culture, and community, and aims to foster a healthy relationship between them. By savoring the taste of artisan foods, and respecting the history and process that goes into creating them, we are invited to slow down and appreciate life’s little pleasures.
To learn more about Slow Food or to find out about Slow Food events happening in your area, you can visit their website at: http://www.slowfoodusa.org.