What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Thu, October 04, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
"Deconstructing Dinner" is a Canadian radio show that metaphorically roots through your trash and examines your meal scraps.
As they explain:
"[Our present] lifestyle of convenience leaves very little time to reflect on the history behind the food we purchase and the impact these purchases have on ourselves, communities, and the well-being of this planet."
With that mission in mind, they cover everything from the ethics of food marketing, to corporate vs. personal responsibility. The show is broadcast throughout Canada and available for us here in the US via their website.
Posted on Wed, October 03, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
Close your eyes a moment. Imagine the open road on a long drive before sunset, sleepy eyed, towing a back breaking, albeit glorious load of just-picked produce, only to find that a neighboring farm stand, traveling a mere hour, has brought to the table the same kabocha squash varietals that until now, made your weekly trip worthwhile. Not to mention, your office hours are now 6:00am to 6:00pm, if you're lucky. For many of you, this hits close to home.
As the peak season of farmer's market plenty rounds the corner, we reflect on the underbelly of the utopian model and a few of the complications that arise when scale walks the line between blessing and curse. Carol Ness, in the San Francisco Chronicle, explores the issue that some Bay Area farmers are having: the expansion and proliferation of markets has made a profit margin too narrow to justify the taxing 12-hour work days and growing detriment of duplicate offerings.
Posted on Wed, October 03, 2007 by Website Administrator
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:
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
Posted on Wed, October 03, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
On Sept 15 and 16, the US Ark-Presidia Committee (APC) members from around the country came together in Madison, WI to review, taste and board new foods to the Ark of Taste.
The Ark of Taste is a metaphorical craft designed to save –much like Noah, who saved breeds from extinction during the flood–endangered tastes and to celebrate them, by introducing them to the membership and then to the world, through media, public relations, and Slow Food events.
A wide range of flavors were celebrated in this year's nominations, from the Early Blood Turnip-rooted beet and Roy's Calais flint corn, to the Cotton Patch goose and Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter tomato.
Though the majority of Ark foods are boarded during the committee's yearly face-to-face meeting, nominations are reviewed and boarded throughout the year. Check out the Ark of Taste criteria and nomination form to learn more.
This year, the APC welcomed four new members: Arie McFarlen, Elissa Rubin-Mahon, Jennifer Hall and Emile DeFelice. You can read about them and their passion for Slow Food and the Ark of Taste: just click here!
Posted on Tue, October 02, 2007 by Website Administrator
Here's what ABC News travel correspondent Phoebe Natanson had to say about Cheese, Slow Food's festival of fermentation held every odd-numbered year in Bra, Italy:
A cheese fiend since childhood, I finally found the right occasion to indulge my passion and get certified doing it! I was off to Bra to smell brie, among other delicacies, and to take a Master in Cheese course.
When I arrived in Bra on a sunny Friday morning in September, hundreds of cheeses of different shapes and forms had been carted into the town by their producers and put on display, ready to be tasted by the crowd swarming the small streets and bustling piazzas. "E` una festa!" exclaimed a local shopkeeper as I wove my way amid the stands, and a party it was, a cheese fest.
Posted on Mon, October 01, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
Bees pollinate at least one third of our diet. It is hardly surprising, then, that renting out colonies for pollination is many times more profitable than honey production—nearly $15 billion worth of crops utilize the insects every year.
American agriculture relies heavily on hives, which are piled into trucks and moved from coast to coast. California almonds, for example, depend entirely on bees. By 2012, it is estimated that 90% of current hives in the United States will be needed to pollinate the groves. Other dependent crops include blueberries, peaches, cranberries, squash, and pumpkins.
Thus, news spread quickly when, in late 2006, worker bees from Western honeybee colonies began to disappear. Hive afflictions are not uncommon, but colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a puzzling phenomenon because the worker bees vanish, leaving behind a queen, brood, and food stores that are not immediately robbed by other bees.
According to a recent study, a virus likely triggers the disorder. Researchers caution, however, that there are probably a variety of factors and not a singular cause. Toxins, pesticides, stress, genetic tampering, and other woes of commercial beekeeping are all suspected.
For more about bees and honey, click here to get to our Take Action page.
UPDATE: Check out this bleak assessment of the problem on AlterNet, October 16th.