Slow Food

3 06 2009

 

The Slow Food movement encourages taking time to cook and enjoy meals

The Slow Food movement encourages taking the time to cook and enjoy meals

I recently became a member of Slow Food International.  Slow Food is the name of a non-profit organization founded in 1986 by a man named Carlo Petrini in Bra, Italy. It started as a reaction to the opening of a McDonald’s near Rome’s famous Spanish Steps but has grown to a worldwide following of more than 100,000 members in 132 countries.  Basically, Slow Food is the opposite of fast food – it advocates taking time to cook and enjoy meals rather than gulping down a hamburger and fries on the go. There is also an emphasis on where food comes from, how it tastes and how our choices impact the world. I’m not a humorless militant about it (and yes, I do eat fast food on occasion) but I think that many of us have become a little disconnected from the idea of savouring and enjoying our meals the way many cultures do.  

I was particularly impressed (and somewhat envious) when traveling in Italy a couple of years ago and observed Italians on holiday.  My husband and I were visiting a resort town on the Tuscan coast and it was Ferragosto (August 15th), a major national holiday.  We spent the morning lounging on the beach at a local beach club but at lunchtime the lounge chairs emptied and everyone gathered to eat.  As we made our way to a nearby restaurant we watched Italian families seated at long tables heaping with bowls of homemade pastas, fish, vegetables, fruit and wine.  They took a couple of hours to enjoy their meal together before returning to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.  To me, this was a far more appealing way to enjoy a meal than shoveling in dinner while in front of the tv (which happens more than I’d like to admit). Granted, the Italian scenario was an ideal notion (on a holiday, no less) but even if we take the time now and again for a slow meal,  it’s a step in the right direction.  

If you’re interested in learning more about Slow Food, you can check out their website: www.slowfood.com. I’m not going to lie – the membership is a bit expensive and it may not be for everyone but I think it’s worth embracing at least a few of the ideas. After all, we have to eat every single day so we might as well enjoy it!

Ciao,

Trish

 

Viareggio, Italy - August 15th, 2008

Viareggio, Italy - August 15th, 2007

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