What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Wed, September 26, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
In the 2 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Slow Food leader/enthusiast/activist Poppy Tooker has been fighting hard to revive New Orleans food communities. One such community is the East New Orleans Vietnamese community, that is home to an outstanding farmers' market that is held at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning. Instrumental in the rebuilding of this market has been Father Vien thé Nguyen, who is the pastor of Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church there.
In April of 2007, at a Vietnamese brunch, Poppy presented the church with $5,000 from Slow Food USA's Terra Madre Relief Fund, to go towards rebuilding the market and community garden there. Click here to watch a short video of the brunch, which includes some great footage of delicious, homemade Vietnamese food.
Also interesting: from the Southern Foodways Alliance website, an interview with Peter Nguyen, the manager of the community garden and farmers' market.
Posted on Wed, September 19, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
After all of these months of reading and learning, and rallying and writing, it's hard not to be discouraged by the Farm Bill. A disappointingly familiar version passed in the House this summer, and now the Farm Bill is hanging out in the Senate, a place where (a cynic might say) good ideas go to die.
We here at Slow Food USA are committed to looking at the bright side, so here is a list of (fewer than) 101 reasons not to be discouraged:
1. It still truly is up in the air (otherwise known as "it ain't over 'til it's over").
2. It is not too late to write to your Senators to explain your priorities.
3. Did you even know what The (Food and) Farm Bill was 2 years ago? We, as a nation, as a group of Slow Food-ists, have educated ourselves, and well!
4. We are building knowledge and momentum for the NEXT one. In Washington, thinking ahead is important.
For Food Security updates, click here
For Nutrition updates, click here
For Conservation and Energy updates, click here
Posted on Wed, September 12, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
For 22 years, Farm Aid has been traveling the country and making music to support family farms. Last Sunday, Farm Aid hit New York City, giving NYC the chance to show its love for farmers and to prove that urban landscapes are farm-friendly in more ways than one. For their arrival in NYC, Farm Aid partnered with a local group called The Food Systems Network New York City (a network of local groups working on issues in and around food) to bring the concert to a new level; FSNYC succeeded in making the event completely recyclable, and also in adding an educational component.
Slow Food USA was one of many non-profits to have a table set up with information and demonstrations for Farm Aid attendees. Under a tent called "Resurrect the Potluck," we joined FoodChange, Just Food, Sustainable Table, and The Cornell Cooperative Extension. Staff from the SFUSA office flipped Manoomin Wild Rice Pancakes, topped them with local New York State maple syrup and served them up to thousands of attendees. As they chewed, we talked, telling them about the endangered food tradition of wild rice harvesting, and spreading the Slow Food gospel.
Posted on Sun, August 26, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
In her latest blog, Suzi Steffen poses this rhetorical gem: Is eating local even possible?
Eating local — goat cheese from the farmers' market or eggs from my friends' chickens, vegetables and fruit as abundant as weeds — is easy right now in Oregon's fertile Willamette Valley. But I want to stay as local as possible in the winter. And that desire has turned me into an ant, the workhorse of food procuring — I don't even have time to read for pleasure anymore, except when I'm walking to the farmers' market.
It's a good question really, and one that we preachers of the Slow gospel need to be able to answer readily. What I usually say is that of course it is, because that's what humans have done for the entirety of their existence, save roughly the last 80 years or so. But Steffen too recognizes the lesson taught by Barbara Kingsolver in her current book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:
As Kingsolver says, "Eating locally in the winter is easy. But the time to think about that would be in August." So it is.
Posted on Fri, August 24, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
It's not surprising that there is an affinity between Slow Food mavens and cycling buffs. Each has an affection for simpler ways of doing things, and a way of appreciating the world around us. Thus…
Pemberton's Anna Helmer and Lisa Richardson have taken this mandate and modernized it through the highly successful Slow Food Cycle Sunday. The third- annual festival rolled through the valley last Sunday with more than 1,300 riders cycling the route and sampling the tastes of a community rooted in agriculture.
Our friends to the north have a great thing going there, and if you are looking to create a new event for your convivium, you can read all about it at the quaintly named Whistler Question.
Posted on Thu, August 23, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
Such food luminaries (and friends of Slow Food) as Rich Pirog, Arlin Wasserman and Gary Paul Nabhan explain how and why Terroir is important in this August 22nd Washington Post article
…Wasserman has a growing roster of clients, from General Mills to a co-op of Amish goat and lamb farmers, as well as a group of Minnesota artisans with a line of charcuterie, preserves and wild rice dishes in the works. Similar projects are taking shape across the country. On Lummi Island, off the coast of Washington, salmon fishermen have formed a co-op to sell local sockeye salmon caught in reef nets, a traditional Native American method. Researchers in Iowa have done feasibility studies on bringing back the Muscatine melon (see "Certified Levels of Terroir," Page F6 [requires free registration to view]), a variety of cantaloupe that owes its juicy fragrance to the sandy soil on the banks of the Mississippi, and I-80 beef, ultra-marbled steaks from the northwest corner of the state.
I found it intriguing that General Mills is one of his clients. These are signs of real progress, when Slow Food's ideas make their way into the mainstream. We will not achieve a food system that is Good, Clean and Fair by demolishing the current system, but rather by transforming it. Every time they acknowledge the value of our ideas we must not feel threatened but rather say to them, "welcome to a better way."--------
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.