Thursday, December 31, 2009

Slow Food

Do you enjoy wine tastings, cooking classes, dinner parties, harvesting local produce or eating delicious food? If so you'll want to continue reading and become a member of Slow Food!

I was introduced to Slow Food while I was in high school. It was a Slow Food cooking class that gave me the connection to go to Italy for an internship. Slow Food has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.

So, what is Slow Food?

"Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it taste and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable."

"Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment."

USA Today puts it simply, "Slow Food aims to be everything fast food is not."

Slow Food USA's Vision: "Food is a common language and universal right. Slow Food USA envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow and good for the planet."

Slow Food USA's Mission: "Slow Food USA seeks to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system. We reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We seek to inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices and market forces so that they ensure quality, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat."

You can go online to find a convivium near you. I have enjoyed going to numerous events through Kansas City's convivium. For information on upcoming events in Kansas City visit the website or Facebook page. The Kansas City convivium even takes a trip to Italy every year!

While I was in Italy for my internship I really fell in love with their way of life, it's so much... well, slower. Everyday it's essential to take a nap after lunch, businesses even close for this time of siesta! Dinner was never eaten before 8 o'clock and there would be days were we would still be sitting at the dinner table at 11:30 pm. It was a wonderful time of savoring your food and the company you are sharing it with.

Many Americans when they eat just scarf down there food like there going to win an award for being the fastest eater. Whenever I'm sitting down for a meal with others I'm usually the last one to finish. I prefer to savor each bite. Someone took time to grow and prepare the meal, as should we take time to find pleasure in all the flavors and textures.

Another benefit of slowing down when you eat is something many Americans battle... weight loss. If you shovel your food in too quickly for your stomach to communicate with your brain that it's full, you'll likely end up over eating.

A sunflower field in Tuscany.

A herd of sheep being watched by a Shepard (you can see him standing near the tree line on the left).

It doesn't get any fresher than straight from the barrel!

...Ok, so I wasn't really drinking it.

At your next meal make an attempt to slow down and enjoy the food and the conversation!

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