What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Thu, September 25, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
September 27th (that’s this Saturday) is the Green Jobs Now National Day of Action
Are you wondering: “What are green jobs?” Green jobs are jobs connected to making our communities more sustainable. As Green Jobs Now explains on their website:
Right now, there are millions of people ready to work and countless jobs to be done that will strengthen our economy at home. There are thousands of buildings that need to be weatherized, solar panels to be installed, and wind turbines to be erected. There are communities that need local and sustainable food and people ready to farm the crops. There are public transit systems and smart electricity grids in need of engineers and electricians. Americans are ready to build the new economy. It’s time to invest in saving the planet and the people. It’s time for green jobs now!
~ Van Jones and the Green Jobs Now Team
“And who is this Van Jones guy I keep hearing about?”
Van Jones is the award-winning founder and president of Green For All, a national advocacy organization based in Oakland, California. He has been a tireless advocate for building an inclusive, green economy - strong enough to lift millions of people out of poverty. He and his organization are fighting for “green-collar jobs and opportunities” for disadvantaged people, creating “green pathways out of poverty,” while greatly expanding the coalition fighting global warming.
Now, let’s take this day to ask ourselves: how can the sustainable food movement connect jobs related to sustainable food production, food distribution, and the building of infrastructure needed for local food economies to flourish connect with the green collar job movement?
To learn more about Green Jobs for All and to find a Saturday event near you, click here
Let us know your ideas for how we can build the connections between the 2 movements!
Posted on Mon, September 22, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Slow Food USA Staffer Julia De Martini Day
photo by Slow Food USA Staffer Cecily Upton
The first thing I wanted to do after arriving in San Francisco from Brooklyn, NY the Tuesday before Slow Food Nation was visit the Victory Garden. When I got to the front of the garden I saw a sign above the small entrance gate Victory Garden hours, 9am-4pm. “Shoot, I missed it,” I thought to myself. But before I turned away, a woman walked in front of me and opened the gate, Come in, she said. Its open.
It was a beautiful, sunny, and quiet afternoon, and the garden was empty. The woman offered to show me around, pointing out the native species and medicinal sections. She noted the translation of certain vegetable names into Spanish and told me how she had been coming here every day since it opened, and eating food from the garden, too. In the middle of the garden, between lettuce, kale, and rainbow chard, she opened a composition book and began humming a song she had written about the garden. In a way it read as a list of everything growing, but it also had a chorus reminiscent of this land is your land, this land is my land.
This is our garden, a place for you and me. This is our garden, where we come to be.
I knew the Victory Garden was producing food for a food bank and growing all kinds of wonderful things, but I hadnt imagined it would also be generating community ownership from neighborhood residents. Im sure not everyone living nearby felt this way, but this one womans poetry was a beautiful symbol of how the garden was contributing more than just food to the city.
Posted on Fri, September 05, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Labor Day is a few days gone now—please forgive the slowness of this post.
In honor of Labor Day, we’d like to call your attention to a panel that was held at Changemakers Day this past Friday. Changemakers Day was just one part of Slow Food Nation, the programming of which focused on sustainable food systems, “featur[ing] the clash of ideas, critical thinking from incisive minds, and inspiring dialogue among potential collaborators,” with the goal of starting important conversations that will lead to effective collaboration. One panel, called “Accessing the Price of Good Food,” attempted to examine the problem of limited access to good food, diet-related chronic health conditions, growing dependency on government food programs, and food insecurity. An interesting and ultimately essential contributor to the panel was Saru Jayaraman, from the Restaurant Opportunities Center.
She began by “justifying” her presence on the panel, since the inclusion of restaurant workers’ rights wasn’t necessarily an obvious fit for a panel on access. She made a firm, powerful and clear cry for the imperative inclusion of restaurant worker rights in any sustainable food movement (i.e. us, Slow Food) worth its salt. We’ve covered farmworker issues before on this blog, but never the rights of the many, many underpaid, abused restaurant workers in this country, and Jayaraman’s rallying cry was certainly felt here.
As Eric Schlosser said in the closing Food for Thought panel, “workers need to have a place at the table,” and not just the ones who get the food from the earth to the market. A meal is not sustainable if the tomato picker was abused, nor is it sustainable if the prep cook, busboy or waiter was either.
UPDATE, 9/10/08: Check out his short video of Eric Schlosser, at Grist.org, discussing the importance of labor issues when it comes to sustainable agriculture.
Posted on Wed, September 03, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Thanks to all 60,000 of you who came to Slow Food Nation and listened, ate, discussed, networked, bought, and cheered. To the rest of you: we missed you! We had beautiful sunshine, terrific crowds, and many opportunities to meet each other and expand our growing circle of people supporting a good, clean and fair food system.
As we’ve mentioned before there’s been great day-by-day, minute-by-minute coverage on the Slow Food Nation blog--so do check that out.
We’d love to hear your stories—of a favorite product bought at the market place, or a favorite conversation had on a hay bale, of an inspirational talk you attended, or a slow journey you took in the Bay area. We’ll be sharing more too, day by day, so keep checking back in.
For SFUSA Board Member Chef Kurt Michael Friese’s re-cap on Grist, click here.
For media coverage of the event. you don’t have to look far. Check out the NY Times Dining section today, or sfgate.com’s ongoing coverage, or menupages.com’s interview with Michael Pollan, or seriouseats.com’s coverage, or…or…or….
Posted on Mon, September 01, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Many of us think of wine and cheese as two great tastes that go great together (like pizza and beer, milk and cookies). At Saturday night’s Taste Workshop celebrating American Raw Milk Cheeses, we were treated to something that was new for many of us—cheese with beer. Cheese expert (and Slow Food USA Board Member) Jeff Roberts and cheese expert Laura Werlin led us through the tasting of 7 cheeses and 6 craft ales.
The cheeses and their makers hailed from Alabama, Indiana, Oregon, Wisconsin, Vermont, and California; several of the producers were in the room with us and shared their processes, working with their sheep, Guernsey cows, Nubian dwarf goats etc. and crafting and shepherding (as it were) that milk into beautiful artisan cheeses. Ever seen a cheese that’s been rubbed with paprika? Hillis Peak Cheese from Pholia Farm Creamery was a first for me and I fell in love with its spicy, rich and creamy flavor. (n.b. it goes really well with Dogfish’s Midas Touch Golden Elixir).
Most surprising were the ways in which the cheeses changed in combination with the beer, and vice versa. 6 pieces of fantastic farmstead cheese + 7 diverse and delicious craft ales meant several interesting and surprising flavor combinations.
Posted on Thu, August 28, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Greetings from San Francisco, where Slow Food USA is holding its National Congress (a meeting of Slow Food chapter leaders from around the country). We’re discussing our vision and mission, our strategic plan, our national statute, best practices, and the future of the movement and the organization.
Other big stuff? Our new website, and….drumroll please….Slow Food Nation.
We hope to see many of you in San Francisco this weekend.
Posted on Wed, August 20, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Participate locally in the largest celebration of food in America!
This Labor Day, join us in building a food system that is just, sustainable and delicious by holding picnics in your town or city. A day of generosity and action, we invite you to organize picnics with loved ones and new friends who together will break bread, share a meal and help transform the American food system. Starting August 20th, you will be able to post picnic plans, photos, testimonials, and video content at Slowfoodnation.org.
Held during the first ever Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco, CA (August 29-September 1) Slow Food Nation Labor Day Picnics are meant to build on the momentum created by communities of all kinds across the country eager to support and foster a good, clean and fair food system.
Join us for a day of action dedicated to sharing food and celebrating the realization of Slow Food Nation in dozens of different ways, in different communities across America. If you'd like help envisioning how to do this, and how to incorporate endangered foods into your menu, check out our American Traditions Picnics page.
Who Can Participate:
You, your friends, families, neighbors and community members.
Other Ways You Can Support a Slow Food Nation:
Host a Signing of the Petition Calling for a New Vision for a 21st Century Food, Farm & Agriculture Policy. A Downloadable PDF of the Petition will be available on August 28th, 2008 at fooddeclaration.org.
For more information on how to post your picnic online, and to find out how others are celebrating National Labor Day Picnics, visit slowfoodnation.org.
Posted on Wed, August 13, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
As we ramp up for the big event, there's been lots of great coverage:
What to Do and Where to Eat: Check out this handy highlight guide from 7×7.com. The best part? The Greek-gods-of-good-and-plenty graphic featuring Carlo Petrini, Alice Waters, Gavin Newsome, Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.
Featured Products: Check out this article from the Fresno Bee that discusses products from the Central Valley that will be present at the event. How'd we get such a strong Valley presence? Why, Slow Food Regional Governor and local farmer Tom Willey, of course!
Victory Garden Ready to Pick: 1,500 pounds of food, all going to local shelters.
Bite-Size Bulletins: Lil' bits of background, interviews, updates, etc. from Chow.com
How to Cover the Event? The movement?: This article from the Columbia Journalism Review explores the journalist's perspective.
And what about you? If you won't be there, what will you be doing Labor Day weekend to celebrate your food heritage?
Posted on Thu, August 07, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Things have been a bit crazy around here due to a few upcoming Slow Food Events, near and far.
1. Slow Food Nation. San Francisco, Labor Day weekend. If you are not already reading the event blog every day, please add it to your blog roll! Each day there are new posts–about the various Taste Pavilions, about the big issues in the sustainable food movement (check out the recent post on Proposition 2), and various events leading up to the big event, including the release of a new book: COME TO THE TABLE: THE SLOW FOOD WAY OF LIVING.
2. Terra Madre. Turin, Italy. October 23 -27. This biennial meeting will include over 700 delegates from the United States, and 6,000 delegates from around the world. Together, these delegates represent those who produce, sell, harvest, purchase, cook, educate about and promote sustainable food. It's too late to be a delegate this year, but start planning for 2010! This year's event will, for the first time, have a huge youth presence–cooks, farmers, students–with over 200 youth from the US alone.
3. Salone del Gusto. Turin, Italy. October 23 - 27. This giant public event attracts over 140,000 people (yup, you read that right) and happens concurrently with Terra Madre. Go to Turin and experience this giant sustainable food fair. The market is the heart of the event, but there are also taste workshops, dinners, lectures, etc. You can buy tickets online now, leading all the way up to the event.
Posted on Thu, July 31, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
What the heck is a Slideluck Potshow?
If you're in the NYC area, you can find out this Saturday. For those of you who don't live nearby, you'll have to wait until it comes to you–and it just might! Slideluck Potshow is a non-profit arts event that aims to build and strengthen community around food and art. Slideluck Potshow combines a multimedia slideshow with a potluck dinner and it has taken place in about forty cities globally, from Stockholm to São Paulo.
The evening begins with a couple hours of dining on the home-cooked delights of participants, while drinking and mingling. Following the potluck, and as the sun goes down, the crowd is hushed, and a slideshow of work by local artists begins.
Shows regularly draw more than a thousand people in NYC; they expect this weekend's to be much larger. Particularly notable is the location–for those of you not in NYC, McCarren Park Pool is a former public pool that now, waterless, hosts live performances, movie screenings, and, well, Slideluck Potshow. It is estimated this particular event might be the largest potluck EVER. The event is open to the public–all you have to do is bring a Slow dish (your entry ticket) to feed approximately 10 servings.
SLIDELUCK POTSHOW XII
Saturday, August 2nd, 2008
McCARREN PARK POOL
Lorimer Street, between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street
L Train to Bedford or Lorimer
Slow Food International also runs a publishing company, Slow Food Editore, which specializes in tourism, food and wine. The library now contains about 40 titles and houses Slow, the award-winning quarterly herald of taste and culture, available in five languages: Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.