Good Food Blog
Take it slowPosted at 12:10PM, 08 September 2008 by Carol Wilson - Food writer
I've been an enthusiastic member of The Slow Food Movement for several years now. Their manifesto states, 'Let us rediscover the flavours and savours of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food. In the name of productivity, the Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes'.
The Slow Food movement was founded in Italy in 1989 by its President Carlo Petrini, to counter the tide of standardisation of taste and the manipulation of consumers around the world. With this in mind, Slow Food takes account of the cycle of seasons and works to protect the historic, artistic and environmental heritage of places such as restaurants and cafés and to safeguard food and agricultural heritage, ancient production methods, artisan techniques, sustainable agriculture, rural development and food traditions. One of the aims of the Slow Food movement is to help people know more about what they eat and promote the goods of small growers or producers.
Slow Food has now grown into a huge international movement, with over 85,000 members in 132 countries, organized into 700 local convivia, or local groups, whose members meet regularly and organise visits, themed dinners, food, wine and beer tastings, and also work to safeguard or revive traditional agricultural methods and techniques.
Our eating habits have certainly undergone huge changes in the last couple of decades. As we all live at a faster pace and demand more convenience foods, fast, fatty ready-made foods have replaced balanced meals and vegetables in many households. The market for fast food has rapidly increased and this, plus constant snacking and the abandonment of traditional mealtimes, is having a marked effect not just on our shape, but also on our health. If that isn't bad enough, much of our food is also subjected to intensive farming, pesticides and processing.
Just because people lead frenetically busy lives and work long hours is no reason to eat badly.
But just because people lead frenetically busy lives and work long hours is no reason to eat badly. Fortunately, there are rumblings that discerning consumers are tiring of mass-produced tasteless food; demand is increasing for foods with real flavour, made according to time-honoured methods - real bread, instead of ready-sliced 'cotton wool' and properly reared and well hung meat for instance; forgotten regional dishes of yesteryear are making a welcome return and enterprising small food producers, cheese makers, bakers, farmers, etc. are steadily gaining a foothold in food sales. It's time to slow down and take pleasure in delicious fresh food and home cooking - and enjoy the things that really matter!