Something I write about often, and that I am sure plenty of readers are tired of, is my experience studying abroad in Florence, Italy in the Fall of 2012. While I do have stories that could last for days, one of the more profound experiences I had in Florence was taking a cooking class(for anyone who is curious: it was difficult). I thought I wasn’t too shabby at cooking until I was instructed by Milva, one of the kindest, yet most intimidating Italian women I met there. At the time, I was frustrated that other classes were enjoying lasagna and wine together, while my class was eating healthy versions of Italian food, but now I am grateful for Milva’s insistence on sustainable and nutritious eating. One of the best lessons Milva taught my class was on the Slow Food Movement. Of course the fabulous Italians started it, but now it has spread worldwide. While many Americans are jumping on the movement’s band wagon, many more are still unaware of the international association. I can explain, though!
Back in 1986, a genius named Carlo Petrini created the Slow Food Movement as a protest to a McDonald’s opening near the Spanish Steps in Rome. In the midst of a fast food revolution taking over the world, Petrini urged people to remember their roots and where real, natural, nutritious, good food comes from. Now the movement is a worldwide grassroots phenomenon. The vision is simply stated on the website: “We envision 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.” Now, almost 40 years later, the movement is still fighting against the multinational standardization of food. Over 100,000 people in 153 different countries are committed to the production, distribution, and sharing of local foods and traditions. The movement is a member supported association, and 7 different countries have national branches for the movement. There are different foundations within the movement as well. For example, the Terra Madre Foundation sponsors an event in Turin every two years for the promotion networking different food communities together.
The best part of about the Slow Food Movement is that it is not just about growing food locally. It is a multi-faceted association that is devoted to teaching the world about the importance of gastronomy within different cultures. One thing I remember being shocked by in the lesson Milva taught was that we didn’t necessarily eat green food only. We deep fried beer battered shrimp. There seems like there is nothing healthy about that, but everything was local and I learned about a traditional Italian dish that was not pasta.
The American Slow Food Movement is based out of Brooklyn, but has chapters all over the United States. It is time to slow down, and enjoy your food. Be mindful of your nutrition and your world!
What do you think of the Slow Food Movement?
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