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Cooking Light Cites “5 Healthy Food Trends,” and Slow Food is One

Oct. 3, 2007

The healthy food magazine Cooking Light has published an article naming healthy food trends that “are here to stay,” and our humble little organization is one of’em:

Slow food

Launched in Italy 20 years ago by restaurateur Carlo Petrini, “slow food” was originally designed to protest the encroachment of fast food on the traditional Mediterranean lifestyle. The trend’s principles — choosing locally grown and produced items, preparing them in traditional ways, and eating with friends and family — celebrate a relaxed approach to living that provides a welcome contrast to the fast-paced, eat-on-the-run lives many people lead.

Point of clarification here - Carlo is not a restaurateur. But that is neither here nor there…

Why it’s here to stay: As with locally grown food, freshness is a key component of the slow food trend. “Investing the time to choose what’s fresh that day will ensure that night’s meal will be at its peak nutritionally,” Stokes says. This principle applies whether you’re making a family recipe or dining in a restaurant where the chef selects ingredients based on their seasonal availability. Family togetherness is also an important aspect of the trend. “Slow food is all about cherishing the eating experience and getting back to what food used to be: a vehicle for drawing people together,” explains Sara Firebaugh, (former) assistant director of Slow Food USA.

What it means for you: Healthful whole foods are a great start, but slow food goes a step beyond good nutrition — and it’s a difficult one to quantify. No scientific studies have conclusively proven that friends and family make better dinner companions than televisions, but the benefits are clear. “Slow food embraces the psychological component in food choices, meal preparation, and the act of eating,” (Nutritionist Fern Gale) Estrow says. "A healthful diet isn’t just about what you eat but how you eat it."

Yay for us! You can read all the trends, including a term that’s new to me - “flexitarian” (?!?!?!) - by clicking here

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