The Slow Food Movement
What is Slow Food?
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life, and combat people's dwindling interest in the food they eat. Simply stated, we link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
Slow Food believes food is tied to many other aspects of life, including culture, politics, agriculture and the environment. We seek to create a dramatic and lasting change in the food system, policy, production practices and market forces to equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat. Slow Food strives to reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We believe that through our food choices, we can collectively influence how food is cultivated, produced and distributed. As a result, we can change the world.
Today, Slow Food has over 150,000 members and is active in more than 160 countries. Here in the USA, Slow Food is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, and we have more than 150 chapters and 2,000 food communities across the country.
How the movement began
In 1986, Italian journalist Carlo Petrini recognized that a proposed McDonald’s restaurant in Piazza di Spagna near the Spanish Steps in Rome represented a threat to the Italian food culture of trattorias and osterias. Petrini rallied his activist friends to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life.
In 1989 the international Slow Food movement was officially founded in Paris, France, and the Slow Food Manifesto was signed.
The future of Slow Food
In over two decades of history, Slow Food has evolved into a grassroots movement with a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics and culture.
We believe that food is cause, victim and delicious solution of climate change. This year we want to focus on the positive solutions of Slow Food and connect the dots between farmers and consumers as everyday climate champions. By acting together as a global network, we can pivot towards more sustainable food production and farming systems, and achieve a climate friendly future.
In the summer of 2018 Slow Food USA presented a new manifesto: the Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto. This document was presented to the 300 leaders present at the day-long summit to kick off the Slow Food Nations festival. The manifesto acknowledges that “many injustices still exist within our food system. Our local and national work is to dismantle these structures.”
“The defense of food products has always been one of the cornerstones of Slow Food’s activities. From the Ark of Taste, the first Presidia were created, and the Presidia, in turn, gave way to other projects. Increasing the number of products selected for the Ark has become ever more urgent. If the association loses this sensitivity, it risks losing its raison d’être.”