What is Slow Food?
Say ‘Fast Food’ and our mind conjures up images of burgers on the go, fries and ready-to-eat pre-packaged food. Things that we can eat off the shelf or cook up fast and consume – to save time. Somehow, for many of us, the quicker we get ‘eating’ out of the way, the better.
Say ‘Slow Food’ and some of you may wonder! What is slow food?
Well, did you know ‘Slow Food’ has now become a movement? Not something new, but started in 1986? The movement is something that will help us connect back to the act of eating as not something ‘we need to get done’, but something ‘we enjoy’?
Once you understand what slow food is all about, it is very likely that you will join and be part of it! Maybe you already know about it? Then please share your experiences or your thoughts. It will be wonderful to hear from you.
For those of you who wants to know more – here are bite sized information on Slow Food, to bring you quickly up to speed!
Oxford dictionary meaning of slow food:Food that is produced or prepared in accordance with local culinary traditions, typically using high-quality locally sourced ingredients.
Background of Slow Food: (Wikipedia) Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.
At its heart is the aim to promote local foods and traditional gastronomy and food production. Conversely this means an opposition to fast food, industrial food production and globalisation.
What was The Trigger for Slow Food?
The opening of a McDonald burger joint in the heart of Rome in 1986! There was an uproar and many wanted to stage a protest. What Carlo Petrini suggested was more strategic and a positive move, in line with what Mahatma Gandhi had said ‘be the change you want to see’.
We don’t wish to adopt a strategy of open conflict with the multinationals,” he (Carlo Petrini) said. Instead he and his colleagues set about creating resistance to fast food by building awareness of the wealth of traditional food that was at risk. (Source)
There are now over 100,000 members in over 150 countries! Given the current interest in organic farming and everything natural and healthy, the movement has started to pick up momentum.
Slow Food envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.
Notable among the string of objectives of Slow Food are: (Source)
• Educating consumers about the risks of fast food
• Developing various political programmes to preserve family farms
• Lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy
• Lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering
• Lobbying against the use of pesticides
A Slow Food Chapter Right Here in Shillong!
Back home, right here in Shillong, Meghalaya, there is a chapter of the Slow food movement – called the North East Slow Food & Agro-biodiversity Society (NESFAS). They have been organizing food festivals on an annual basis called Mei-Ramew (Mother Earth)
A number of Mei-Ramew (Mother Earth) Food Festivals were initiated in the villages that celebrated and highlighted unique crops that are disappearing and cuisines that are almost being forgotten says their website.
Shillong Hosting Indigenous Terra Madre (Itm) 2015
Mei-Ramew was at the International level, the International Terra Madre 2015 and was being hosted as ‘International Mei-Ramew 2015 (IMR 2015) – Mother Earth in local language’ – from November 3rd to November 7th 2015. Over 500 delegates from across the globe participated.
Enjoy watching this video of the 2012 Mei-Ramew event.