The slow food movement rose out of a growing concern with the world’s “broken” food system, chiefly the increasing popularity of fast food and a lack of concern for the environmental and societal impact of producing food in unhealthy ways. In 1989, Carlo Petrini founded the Slow Food association in Italy after he recognized that the industrialization of food was forcing out important food traditions, eating habits, and varieties and undermining the connection between the earth and food.
Now, Slow Food USA says that in America there are over 250,000 supporters, 25,000 members, and 225 chapters. The non-profit works to raise awareness and advocates for sustainable food practices. Projects include building local gardens and campaigning for affordable healthy food, promoting biodiversity, protecting artisanal producers, and supporting the environment.
In the organization’s own words, “Slow Food USA is party of a global movement, which believes everyone has the right to good, clean, and fair food.” They go on to define the qualities of slow foods: “good” means appetizing food that is grown or produced from healthy plants and animals; “clean” refers to producing the food in an environmentally conscious way; and “fair” assumes that all people have access to healthy food and the producers are treated well and compensated fairly.
Slow Food’s Domestic Programs
- Terra Madre at Home – The connection of good, clean, and fair food.
- Regional Biodiversity – A focus on rediscovering rare foods, traditions, and biodiversity.
- US Ark of Taste – A catalog of endangered food species.
- Campaigns – Creating change on the local level.
- Children and Food – Education on the where and how of food production and preparation.
- Slow Food on Campus – Slow Food chapters at places of higher education.
- US Presidia – Supporting artisan food producers.
Slow Food’s International Programs
- A Thousand Gardens in Africa – Education for farmers and youth, promoting local plants, biodiversity, environmental respect, and sustainability.
- Terra Madre – Network of over 7,000 educators, chefs, and food producers that work together for sustainability.
If you are interested in learning more about the Slow movement and Slow Foods or would like to find a chapter in your area, find more information at www.SlowFoodUSA.org.
- Slow Food USA
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