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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Slow Food Nation

Posted by admin | May 15th, 2007 | Filed under Environmental Change, Positive Change, Sustainability

Picture 2.pngAlthough it was billed as the 17th Saward Lecture it was really one part poetry, one part theater and one part lecture. Carlo Petrini, the Founder and President of the Slow Food International began his US tour the other night, coinciding with the publication of his newest book Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean and Fair.

After seeing his enthusiasm, I can understand how he’s managed to change the way many of us think about food. His work is essentially social reform, driven by a desire to transform our relationship to food. Slow Food’s origins can be traced to a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. Now, twenty years later, it has over 80,000 members in 100 countries. One of Petrini’s greatest strengths is that he’s a systems thinker. That is, he readily makes connections between agriculture, politics, ecology, economy and culture. He says, “gastronomy is political economy” and points out that the first act of life, a baby feeding from its mother’s breast, involves food, pleasure and giving. Petrini has inspired a movement calling for the safeguarding of local economies, the preservation of indigenous gastronomic traditions, and the creation of a new kind of ecologically aware consumerism that Alex Steffen refers to as “strategic consumption.”

More than just a reaction to fast food, Petrini has catalyzed a reexamination of our relationship to what we eat, what it costs us (economically and socially) and how it makes us feel. And that is something to celebrate.

3 Responses to “Slow Food Nation”

  • May 15, 2007 at 1:59 pm | Mark says

    Glad to see some more discussion about this. A group of us went to the lecture and left with great feelings as well as a bit of confusion. The great feelings were just because he is so committed, both in language and emotion, and is at ease with talking about the subjects around the Slow Food movement. I, personally, was also confused as to how they ONLY have 80,000 members — given the large numbers of farmers markets and producers (worldwide easily over 80,000), why so few members?

    I am at a bit of a loss to understand what is getting in the way of having MANY more members.

    I guess we just have to keep spreading the word, eh?

  • May 15, 2007 at 5:02 pm | Otis says

    I have to assume that the 80,000 number relates to dues-paying members of the actual organization. There are no doubt thousands more than the actual members who believe in the ideas, support local food economies and are supportive of the cause. But, as you say, it is up to those of us who care about the ideals to help spread the word, and make a case for why being a member is imporant–I, for one, am overdue to renew.

  • May 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Dahrann says

    Kewl you should come up with that. Exellecnt!

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