One-hour dry cleaners, 30-minute pizza delivery, same-day eyeglass service, minute clinics and instant lottery winnings. In a world screaming, I gotta-have-it-now-no-matter-what, the idea of slow anything flies in the face of the whole culture. Right? Well, if the slow food movement has anything to say about it, it'll fly slowly, but relentlessly in the face of the fast food industry.
The slow food movement was started by Carlo Petrini, an Italian journalist outraged at the prospect of a fast food franchise opening in the ancient city of Rome. He and a small band of protestors condemned the invasion of fast food, demanding slow food instead.
That was in 1986. Since then, the slow food movement has picked up, well, speed. Co-founder Folco Portinari drafted the Slow Food Manifesto which was adopted by delegates from 15 countries denouncing gastronomic life in the fast lane. Yes, that's right: delegates. There are currently 150,000 members of the Slow Food Movement from 150 countries. And they're even operating a university of gastronomic sciences in Italy.
The Palate And The Planet
Petrinis mission is to educate people about the connection between what we eat, and its impact on our health, and the health of the whole planet. Environmental sustainability, culinary literacy, and vibrant health are their raison detre. In their slow rage against the machines of processed foods, fast foods, and other toxic by-products of industrialism, they advocate food diversity, local agricultural support, and growing and preparing healthy foods in tasty ways.
Slow Meat Makes For Healthier Bodies
Fast and cheap - this is the road to success in the fast food industry. Its also the pathway to deteriorating health and expensive medical bills. Slow Foodies are grassroots activists who advocate the breeding of humanly treated, grass-fed animals who will produce more wholesome foods at a healthier pace.
Americans spend $110 billion BILLION - dollars each year on fast food. And children are among the top consumers: as many as a third of Americas children have a fast food meal every day. Its no accident that this increased consumption of fast food mirrors the increase in obesity among American youth.
Slow Food activists are cultivating school gardens, teaching cooking classes to kids, starting and maintaining local seed banks, and gently nudging schools toward serving more nutritious lunches. Slowly, but surely they're opening the eyes of young people to where real food comes from, how its grown, how its prepared, and how much better it is for us and Mother Earth.
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