What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Thu, April 08, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Damara Luce, Just Harvest USA
This April 16-18, you can join farmworkers, their families, and their allies as they take the movement for farmworker justice to the streets and call on the Publix supermarket chain—one of the largest private corporations in the country, with 2009 sales of $25 billion—to end the human rights crisis in Florida’s fields!
FARMWORKER FREEDOM MARCH
Freedom from forced labor, poverty and abuse
FRIDAY, APRIL 16 SUNDAY, APRIL 18
Tampa to Lakeland, FL
Workers and their allies will march over 20 miles from downtown Tampa to Publix headquarters in Lakeland. The march will culminate in a rally and concert in Munn Park in downtown Lakeland on Sunday, April 18.
The phenomenal Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum will also be on exhibit at the rally in Munn Park. The Museum’s centerpiece is a cargo truck, outfitted as a replica of trucks involved in the latest farmworker slavery operation. That very truck will symbolically and powerfully lead the march from Tampa to Lakeland as we call on and end, once and for all, to slavery in the fields.
Please visit the Farmworker Freedom March site for more information.
If you can’t make it, you can still email the CEO of Publix to express your opposition to their purchasing decisions. CLICK HERE.
Farmworkers who pick tomatoes for the corporate food industry are among the country’s worst paid, least protected workers. They labor for sub-poverty wages that have not changed significantly in 30 years, are excluded from basic labor and human rights, and, in the most extreme cases, face conditions of actual modern-day slavery, forced to work against their will through threats and violence. There have been seven federally-prosecuted cases of forced labor in Floridas fields since 1997, involving a total of over 1,000 workers.
Posted on Mon, April 05, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
by intern Jackie Fortin
On March 3-4, Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast member Martha Davis Kipcak accompanied a small delegation to Washington DC to speak to Wisconsin legislators about securing healthy food for the citys 60,000 school-age children.
A Community Food Systems Advocate and the trip coordinator, Kipcak headed to Washington with Will Allen, CEO and founder of Growing Power, Kymm Mutch, Director of School Nutrition Services for Milwaukee Public Schools, and Emmanuel Pratt, a doctoral candidate in urban planning from Columbia University.
Our goal was to put legs on Michelle Obamas Lets Move campaign, she said. We called ourselves Lets Move Milwaukee.Ҕ
Over the two days, the group met with Sen. Herb Kohl, Sen. Russ Feingold, Rep. Gwen Moore, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton, and two of her colleagues, The NEA Foundation and a Department of Energy representative.
At first, Kipcak didnt think she was fit for the task, but she said the process ended up being simple and empowering.
The chance to talk to staffers, elected officials, and government leaders, for me, reinforced the notion that the real insight on the subject of a sustainable food system is with the people, she said. Thats you and me: folks on the ground every day producing, shopping, preparing and eating.
Kipcak said she would encourage other Slow Food chapters to engage in face-to-face conversations with their legislators, especially if they do so as a coalition with other community partners.
The message is stronger if it comes from a team, and its a better use of everyones time, she said. Its all about building authentic relationships with those that are on the ground doing the work.
According to Kipcak, Activism in some ways kind of scares people because they have this idea that they have to beat their chests, wave their hands and be on the nightly news.
Instead, she said, it is about speaking up, and being informed, mindful and inquisitive. I think more of us are activists than we think.
Posted on Fri, April 02, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Marion Rockwood, Slow Food Oberlin Leader
On Monday, March 22, Slow Food Oberlin hosted a campus-wide event called Cheese 101, featuring a local farmer: Abbe Turner. Turner, a Slow Food Terra Madre delegate in 2008, is also the milkmaid at Lucky Penny Farm and the cheese maker at Lucky Penny Creamery in Portage County, Ohio. She came to campus to talk about her family farm goat dairy, women in agriculture, and how to make and enjoy cheese.
Lucky Penny Farm is an opportunity for Turners family to live out its ideals of tradition, simplicity, and sustainability in cooperation with the land and animals. She emphasized how important the farm has been to her and offered to advise any audience members who wanted to get started in agriculture.
Cheese making is becoming increasingly popular in todays do-it-yourself kitchen and Turner sought to elucidate the process. She explained the cheese-making experience in detail and left a lot of audience members excited to try it in their own kitchens.
Turner generously brought samples of her chevre, feta, and award-winning sweet Cajeta caramel sauce, along with artisan offerings from other Ohio producers. Audience members received a plate and Turner moved with them through each cheese, providing some background and encouraging them to choose their own words to describe the tastes they experienced.
The event brought community members together with college students and fueled the ongoing conversation about sustainable food systems. Next year, Slow Food Oberlin hopes to replicate the successful event with a hands-on cheese-making workshop with Turner.
Posted on Thu, April 01, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
by intern Lila Wilmerding
This morning foodservice corporation Aramark signed a significant agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). In a joint statement, the two parties announced that Aramark has decided to pay a 1.5-cent premium for every pound of tomatoes picked, with the premium to be distributed directly to harvesters. In combination with other conditions of the agreement, this is a great step towards fairer wages and labor conditions on US farms.
Aramarks pledge is the eighth agreement that has resulted from the Student Farmworker Alliances Dine with Dignity campaign. Sodexo is the only major food service provider yet to sign. Now that the four biggest fast-food companies and two biggest food service companies have made agreements with the CIW, supermarkets will hopefully be the next to follow suit.
The agreement comes at an exciting time for the CIW, as their Farmworker Freedom March (a 22-mile march between Tampa and Lakeland, FL from April 16-18) is quickly approaching.
Posted on Thu, April 01, 2010 by Gordon Jenkins
From Slow Food Chicago
The organizations Slow Food Chicago, Green City Market and Common Threads teamed up earlier this month to hand-deliver 65 letters from grade school students to the Chicago office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, asking the Senator to invest in the students education and well-being by passing a strong Child Nutrition Bill that help schools serve healthier food. In their letters, students asked for more broccoli, more fruit and healthy food at school, and nutritious food that gets you going at recess.
Congress currently gives schools $2.68 for each lunch served, but with child obesity and health care costs spiraling out of control, that level of funding no longer adds up. As Congress works to update the Child Nutrition Bill next month, the students and the organizations are asking Congress to invest in healthier school lunches.
All of us understand that this is not just about dollarsits about SENSE, Slow Food Chicago Board Member Amy Cox said. How can we collectively work together to make sensible changes for the sake of our future generations wellness?”
At the meeting, Cox made a salad of Chicago lettuce, Illinois walnuts and tarragon, Michigan apples and Wisconsin cheese to show that local, fresh food can be quick, inexpensive, healthy and delicious. In contrast, she and Sara Gasbarra of Green City Market and Kurt Lewis and Courtney Treutelaar of Common Threads presented photos of typical school-lunch fare, including a burger served with fries and chocolate milk, a box of pizza swimming in cheese, and a rib in a puddle of greasy red sauce.
The meeting was positive and productive, and an exciting starting point for future discussions, Cox said. Senator Durbins staff members enjoyed the salad and commented that it was one of the best meetings theyve had with community members.
To follow Slow Food Chicagos lead and join the campaign to help schools serve healthier food, check out the Time for Lunch Campaign.
Photo: at Senator Durbin’s Office. Photo credit Kurt Lewis of Common Threads.