What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Mon, October 24, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Congress is planning dramatic cuts to the American budget and anything and everything is on the chopping block. The agricultural sector is likely to take a big hit but will the special Congressional “super committee” make positive change or keep pandering to Big Ag?
That’s no way to balance a budget: that’s a recipe for disaster.
Posted on Sun, September 18, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Yesterday, as part of the $5 Challenge, over 5,570 meals took place all over the country. Hundreds of people submitted photos as well as sharing what parts of the challenge were difficult and what made it difficult.
Yesterday, as part of the $5 Challenge, over 5,570 meals took place!
Click here to see photos from Hawai’i to Illinois to New York to Texas….from potlucks to family dinners to community suppers to food truck rallies,
No matter where they were or how they came together, they were all trying to answer the question: is it possible to make a healthy, local, and delicious meal for under $5 per person?
People got creative and brought their own flair to it—like Bear Braumoeller of Slow Food Columbus, who decided to take the $5 Challenge one step further. He attempted (and, SPOILER ALERT, succeeded) to create a sustainable $5 meal in 15 minutes—to show that sustainable cooking can be quick as well as affordable. Also he live tweeted it.
Bear wasn’t the only one tweeting his progress. Joe Yonan, food editor of the Washington Post, asked his 6,000+ followers questions like “My #5challenge dilemma: Cut which of these to make budget: 3 of 8 apples 4 tart? Squash (ergo soup)? Sausage 4 stuffed peppers (more rice)?”
Posted on Wed, August 31, 2011 by Slow Food USA
The new Backyard Bounty Co-op program supports micro-entrepreneurs by connecting aspiring urban farmers and market gardeners with local food markets.
By Maika Horjus
Backyard Bounty Co-op program coordinator
Urban Abundance Intern
Last February, over fifty people squeezed into the historic Minnehaha Grange Hall in Vancouver, WA to learn about a new opportunity opening up through local non-profit Urban Abundance: an “urban farmer’s co-op” geared towards greenthumbed city dwellers passionate about growing good food and looking to earn some income from their garden bounty. The new program, christened Backyard Bounty Co-op by its founding members, aims to support micro-entrepreneurs. It connects aspiring urban farmers and market gardeners with local food markets by pooling resources, sharing costs, building capacity, and providing a range of services to its members. Backyard Bounty offers support with marketing, accounting, market logistics, and—not least—a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and a vibrant sense of community.
During its first season, Backyard Bounty members have worked closely with one another and with Urban Abundance staff to operate market booths at venues throughout Clark County. Growers’ products are aggregated and sold side-by-side or intermingled at the market booth. A 20% consignment fee goes towards Co-op operating costs and the rest of the profit is divided proportionally based on each grower’s contribution. Responsibility for setting up and staffing the booth is shared among growers and volunteers and regular meetings offer an opportunity for discussion, collective decision-making, and community-building. Throughout the process, the goal is to help growers enter and thrive in the marketplace—a task that can be daunting or even impossible for small-scale growers working on their own.
Posted on Wed, August 17, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Today, Slow Food USA launches the $5 Challenge, our campaign to take back the value meal.
Posted on Fri, August 12, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Earlier this year, we called for immediate action on a pesticide that scientists believe is contributing to massive honeybee die-offs — and today we heard the EPA’s response.
Earlier this year, tens of thousands of Slow Food supporters came together to demand that the EPA keep its promise to investigate the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder. Their actions helped make a buzz about the devastating future that lies ahead if we don’t act now to save the bees that bring us one in every four bites of our food. They invited friends to sign a petition supported by a “swarm” of hundreds of handmade bees (see left), each representing 100 bee petition signatures. They shared the fact sheet we created about bees and food. And dozens organized screenings of the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees” in libraries and living rooms all around the country. We called for immediate action on a kind of pesticide that scientists believe is contributing to massive honeybee die-offs — and today we heard the EPA’s response. According to a spokesperson from the Office of Pesticide Programs:
Posted on Wed, July 20, 2011 by Slow Food USA
The “ag-gag” bills that cropped up in Iowa, Florida, Minnesota and New York are dead.
Great news: the “ag-gag” bills that cropped up in Iowa, Florida, Minnesota and New York are dead. After months of efforts from Big Ag to pass bills behind our backs making it illegal to take photos or video of farms in these states, we’ve stopped them in their tracks.
Nearly 45,000 of you signed our petition to stand up for transparency on farms. We shared those signatures—as well as the slideshow below of the beautiful farm photos you uploaded to our Facebook page—with influential senators in each state.
While there was not enough momentum to pass them this year—technically these bills could be revived in future sessions. We promise to continue to track this and let you know when your voice might be needed again.
This campaign work is made possible by Slow Food USA members. Not a member? Join today!
Posted on Fri, June 10, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Earlier this year 60 farmers and farming advocates told Monsanto enough is enough. Here’s the story of the lawsuit, and how one farmer got involved.
While a cow or goat may respect a property fence, pollen knows no such boundaries. Even if a farmer plants a field of non-GMO (not genetically modified) corn, she may still end up with some genetically engineered material on her farm if GMO pollen “drifts” over from a neighbor’s field. Monsanto has a history of taking farmers to court if they’re found to be in possession of patented plant material without permission, even if the plant material came to their fields inadvertently.
But now, tired of living in fear of lawsuits that they claim are unjust, a group of farmers, seed savers, and farm advocates is challenging the agribusiness giant’s right to continue the practice.
We’re inspired by this landmark case and today we’re happy to have more background and perspective to share with you from one of the plaintiffs, Tom Willey. Tom is an organic farmer in Madera, California and a Slow Food USA regional governor. Here are some highlights from our conversation about why this case matters to him, to his fellow farmers, and to consumers in general.
What is your role in the lawsuit? Why did you decide to get involved?
There are too many people in the agricultural community being picked off one by one over this issue of their crops being contaminated by genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Everyone on the suit is potentially liable to be sued by Monsanto. The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) initiated this suit to deny Monsanto the right to sue farmers for being inadvertently contaminated with GMO genes.
If you stand by and watch your neighbors being abused and don’t do anything to back them up, there may not be anyone there to help you. It’s very difficult for individual farmers to defend themselves from legal onslaughts from Monsanto so we thought we best go after defending the whole farming community as a group. Luckily PUPBAT has the resources to help us make that happen and hopefully we’ll prevail.
Posted on Tue, April 12, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Slow Food on Campus leader Erin Swenson-Klatt reports back on her trip to Washington DC.
Thank you so much for the generous donation that helped send me to Washington D.C. to advocate for sustainable agriculture programs with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. I know that you too believe in the need for a Good, Clean and Fair food system – the kind of food system that will ensure that our children, land and communities are healthy ones – and I appreciate your help in passing that message on directly to our congressional leaders.
At a time when we are all feeling the effects of a tough economy, some seem to think that programs supporting sustainable farming practices, young and minority farmers, conservation in our rural communities and forward-thinking agriculture research are luxuries we can’t afford as a nation. To the contrary, it is the loss of such programs that we can’t afford!
This week I visited four congressional offices in D.C. with two farmers from the Toledo area, Kurt and Marty, to remind our elected representatives that real people will be affected by cuts to sustainable agriculture programs. We knew that these programs are efficient and effective both at offering greater resources to innovative farmers and at revitalizing rural communities, which is something we should all be able to get behind.
While the current economic crisis demands sacrifices, it should also necessitate compromises among everyone who draws on agriculture funding. This was a critical week for us to make this message heard in Washington D.C., and Kurt and I were proud to be there among more than 30 other farmers and farm advocates from around the country to represent Slow Food USA.
Posted on Sat, February 12, 2011 by Gordon Jenkins
Watch the live steam of the TedX Manhattan event, where over 20 high-profile speakers, including Slow Food USA’s President Josh Viertel, are discussing how we can improve food and farming for everyone.
Looking for the live steam of the TedX Manhattan event, “Changing the Way We Eat”? Watch it here:
Posted on Fri, February 11, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA President Josh Viertel asked President Obama why it is cheaper to feed our kids Froot Loops than it is to feed them fruit, and what he was doing to reverse it. His response? He talked about Walmart.
by Slow Food USA President Josh Viertel
Last week, we all had the chance to submit a question to President Obama for a YouTube World View interview following the State of the Union address. Questions could be posted online, and people voted for their favorites. The most popular questions would be chosen, and the president would be asked to respond.
I posted a question. I asked President Obama why it is cheaper to feed our kids Froot Loops than it is to feed them fruit, and what he was doing to reverse it. I had been disappointed that he failed to talk at all about America’s broken food and farming system during his State of the Union, and I hoped my question would give him an opportunity to address it.
With 142,649 questions posted, it was going to be a long shot. Then, I got a text message: 1,279 people voted for my question and it was selected. People wanted to hear our leader talk about what needs to be changed when it comes to food and farming in our country. We had the president’s ear. I felt like I had won the lottery! That is, until I had a chance to listen to his answer.
President Obama didn’t use the opportunity to answer our concerns, nor did he speak to our hopes. He didn’t talk about how he was going to make it easier to access fruit than Froot Loops. He didn’t talk about how he was going to reduce federal support for the crops that are most damaging to our health and environment, and he didn’t talk about what he was going to do to increase support for a sustainable food system. The president didn’t talk about taking on the massive consolidation in agribusiness that makes it cheaper and easier to get unhealthy processed food than it is to buy whole ingredients. Though he touched on it, he didn’t talk about addressing food insecurity in any meaningful way and he didn’t talk about the power of citizens as shoppers ... or as voters.
Instead, he talked about Walmart.
To read the full article, click here to go to The Atlantic Food Channel
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.