What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Tue, June 18, 2013 by Slow Food USA
You are never going to believe this. We may finally have a Farm Bill. Slow Food USA has been tracking this piece of legislation since the beginning and here is where it is ending up…
By: Richard McCarthy, Executive Director of Slow Food USA
You are never going to believe this. We may finally have a Farm Bill.
Slow Food USA has been tracking this piece of legislation since the beginning and here is where it is ending up….
The GOOD news: The bill contains important commitments that grow the alternative:
The BAD news: There is much that is bad, including the House version’s $21 billion ten-year cut to SNAP. It represents half of the overall $40 billion cut. This negatively affects 2.5 million hungry people in the U.S. who depend on SNAP to feed their families.
We care about the good, clean AND fair; and this is simply NOT FAIR.
There is still a narrow sliver of time to make your voice heard. Contact your House Representative today. »
The House has stalled progress in the past. Though imperfect, this Farm Bill is better than no Farm Bill. I would encourage House members to restore SNAP funding and to pass a Farm Bill.
We applaud those of you who have rolled up your sleeves to help shape national policy. It’s no picnic. At this critical juncture, consider and share with us on Facebook...
Once this hurdle is crossed, let’s get back to our farms, boats, dinner tables, markets, gardens, and kitchens to create the conditions that make the Slow Food choice possible.
Posted on Fri, June 07, 2013 by Slow Food USA
Why do we care about the outcome of the current debate? Put starkly, the Food and Farm Bills of the past several decades subsidize farming and ranching that is not good, clean, or fair. The eventual bill will also affect whether some 45 million Americans eat because the largest program — up to 70% of Food and Farm Bill spending — is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps. The current House version of the bill would cut $20 billion out of SNAP and continue subsidies that, as proposed, go disproportionately to a few very wealthy corporations.
By: Charity Kenyon and Ed Yowell, Slow Food USA Regional Governors
Mark Bittman’s recent opinion blog on the Farm Bill inspired us to give the Slow Food perspective on this massive piece of legislation working its way through Congress.
Why do we care about the outcome of the current debate?
Put starkly, the Food and Farm Bills of the past several decades subsidize farming and ranching that is not good, clean, or fair. The eventual bill will also affect whether some 45 million Americans eat because the largest program — up to 70% of Food and Farm Bill spending — is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps. The current House version of the bill would cut $20 billion out of SNAP and continue subsidies that, as proposed, go disproportionately to a few very wealthy corporations.
The best citizen’s guide to this complex legislation may be Food Fight, the Citizens Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill.
In the current debate, Slow Food USA has taken support positions in favor of amendments to the Food and Farm Bill that would:
Slow Food USA has opposed amendments that would:
We know that our individual, informed choices can support a good, clean, and fair food — essentially “voting with our forks.”
We also know that public policy at the federal level — spending billions of dollars — greatly influences what and how food is produced and how it impacts the environment, farmers and ranchers, farmworkers and ranch hands, food chain workers, and eaters. With our food and farm change allies, Slow Food USA advocates for Joy + Justice.
Charity Kenyon, Slow Food USA Governor, Central Valley Region of Californiaand Ed Yowell, Slow Food USA Governor, Northeast (NY, NJ, CT)
Posted on Thu, September 13, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Lester & Linda L’Hoste have been working to preserve the organic Ark of Taste satsuma on their citrus farm in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and now Isaac.
Written by Poppy Tooker, former leader of Slow Food New Orleans
On August 29th, exactly seven years from the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area, a new storm blew in. Isaac was not expected to be much of a storm event as it came onshore as a mere category one.
Lester and Linda L’Hoste, organic citrus farmers in Braithwaite, LA and Crescent City Farmers Market vendors did not evacuate. As lifelong residents of Southern Louisiana, they had ridden out many a storm and believed this one was just going to bring a small amount of wind and rain.
The family enjoyed dinner together and Linda had spent the evening baking cookies before losing power about 10 pm. At 2 am Lester’s phone rang with the news that the levees were in danger of being overtopped and that they needed to evacuate. The water was rising quickly as the L’Hostes joined fifty other Braithwaite families trying to get out. Soon, it became apparent that it was too late as water rushed over the top of the levee reaching the floorboard of the truck, trapping them there.
Many Slow Food USA members will remember the L’Hostes from efforts made after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At that time, chapters across the country came together in countless ways to help farmers, fishers and chefs of Louisiana rebuild the local food system following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. That fall, the U.S. Ark of Taste committee sprang into action boarding several indigenous Gulf Coast foods suddenly endangered in the storm’s aftermath including the satsuma.
Posted on Wed, August 22, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Back to school time! The biggest change most students will see will be on cafeteria trays. Check out these 15 innovative ways schools are making lunches healthier.
Written by Seyyada A. Burney, Nourishing the Planet
As summer draws to a close, it’s time for kids to go back to school. Sadly, this often means a return to terribly unhealthy school lunches filled with fried chicken, pizza pockets, sugary drinks, and high-calorie snacks. School food can jeopardize the health and well-being of America’s next generation, but fortunately, it’s also the best place to start addressing the obesity epidemic—one in three children is obese or overweight, increasing the risks of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems later in life. This needs to change.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) feeds 32 million kids every year and is expanding rapidly as more families qualify for free or reduced-price meals. These lunches represent the primary source of nourishment for many children, but few schools have the facilities or the know-how to prepare fresh food—only the ability to reheat froze, processed foods high in sodium and fat. Even cafeterias that serve more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are often forced to subsidize programs using vending machines and snack bars loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup due to fiscal deficits and a lack of student interest.
Posted on Sat, July 28, 2012 by Slow Food USA
What do “The Central Role of Food”, Slow Money, and “The Food Dialogues” have in common? Stephanie Georgieff went to Los Angeles to find out.
Written by Stephanie Georgieff, President and Co Founder of Slow Food Redlands, California
I was recently invited to attend an event hosted by the newly formed US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance(USFRA) entitled “The Food Dialogues”. As I made my way down to Los Angeles, where the event was being held, I could help but think of the dialogues that I had recently had within my Slow Food Chapter during our monthly book discussion group. The topic of discussion we chose was Slow Money by Woody Tasch, a passionate plea for reorienting the economy in terms of what is good for food, farms and fertility. This, coupled with the release of a document from Carlo Petrini and Slow Food International entitled “The Central Role of Food,” which was recently sent to Slow Food leaders from around the globe and is designed to promote a major world debate outside and inside the Slow Food and Terra Madre network ahead of the World Congress on October 27 – 29, 2012. These topics, along with the massive event I was about to attend, had me thinking, more than ever, about the role food plays in every aspect of our lives.
Our hosts for the event, USFRA is an alliance consisting of a wide range of prominent famer and rancher led organizations and agricultural partners. “The Food Dialogues” was their second attempt to intersect with popular culture to create awareness around how our food is produced. To their credit, the four panels were populated with representatives from the full spectrum of food interests. Small organic farmers, growers for large corporations, representatives from major food interests, scientists, members of the media and non profits were live streamed in webinar format to anyone who desired to participate. I met representatives from the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association and the National Pork Board.
Posted on Fri, June 22, 2012 by Slow Food USA
The Senate has passed their version of the Food and Farm Bill, so who won?
Written by Tim Smith, Slow Food USA’s Associate Manager of New Media
Last week, Washington became the food capital of the country as the Senate debated the 2012 Food and Farm Bill, culminating in the passage of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 yesterday afternoon. Like most people in the country, your next thought most likely is: what does this mean for me?
Well, it means that we are one step closer to approval of the single biggest piece of legislation that governs what we grow and eat in this country, and how it is distributed. It is a 5-year, $969 billion bill that touches every single person’s life in this country. Every farmer, parent, cook, eater, student, and activist is impacted by the policies the Bill addresses and we only have one chance every five years to influence it. Now that the Senate has passed their version, it is up to the House of Representatives to pass their own version before the bill can officially become law.
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, you’re probably wondering: is the Senate Bill a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I guess that depends on what you’re priorities are. Back in March, Slow Food USA sent a letter to the leaders of both the Senate and House Agriculture committees outlining our priorities and asked for a good, clean, and fair Food and Farm Bill. You can read the letter here for more specifics, but we basically boiled it down to three key points:
Posted on Wed, June 13, 2012 by Slow Food USA
For the first time, Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre will be held at a joint even and will be open to the public.
The programme of the 2012 edition of the international Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre world meeting of food communities has been released, giving comprehensive information about the event that, from October 25-29 in Turin, Italy, will display the extraordinary diversity of food from all continents and unite small-scale farmers and artisans from around the world who follow the principles of good, clean and fair.
Posted on Mon, June 11, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Dan Imhoff & Michael Dimock argue that after 80 years, the time has come to rescue agriculture from the farm bill — and to improve the health of Americans in the bargain.
Written by Dan Imhoff, author of Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill and Michael Dimock, president of Roots of Change and chairman emeritus of Slow Food USA
This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times
In 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the very first farm bill, formally called the Agricultural Adjustment Act, he told the nation that “an unprecedented condition calls for the trial of new means to rescue agriculture.” That legislation, passed as the country struggled to emerge from the Depression, was visionary in the way it employed agricultural policy to address significant national issues, including rural poverty and hunger.
It may not seem obvious while standing in the aisles of a modern grocery store, but the country today faces another food and farming crisis. Forty-six million people — that is, 1 out of 7 Americans — signed up for food stamps in 2012. Despite some of the highest commodity prices in history, the nation’s rural regions are falling deeper into poverty. In 2010, according to theU.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.8% of those living in rural counties fell under the poverty line. Unemployment in Fresno County, the nation’s top agricultural producing county, stood at 17.4% in March of this year. Industrial agriculture has become a leading cause of soil and water pollution. In California, for example, fertilizer and manure pollution have so contaminated the Salinas and lower San Joaquin valleys that the groundwater will be undrinkable for the next 30 to 50 years.
After 80 years, the time has come to rescue agriculture from the farm bill — and to improve the health of Americans in the bargain.
Posted on Thu, May 31, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA officially endorses the Nourish 9 Billion campaign and encourages you to sign on as well
Written by Tim Smith, Slow Food USA’s Associate Manager of New Media
Business as usual is not an option.” This is the main assertion of The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Education and Science Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environmental Organization (UNEP), the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the World Bank.
“Business” in this case is industrial farming and the current global food system. This blunt claim came as a result of a 4 year assessment involving 400 scientists around the world who came to the conclusion that nations must embrace agroecologoy (the science of sustainable agriculture) in order to survive in an ever growing-every changing world. Since the report was relased, 59 countries have endorsed the report (the U.S. has not), but none have been able to follow through on their promises to improve their countries sustainable farming practices.
Posted on Fri, May 25, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Founder and President of the International Slow Food Movement, Carlo Petrini, paid the Slow Food USA office a visit and took time to answer your questions from Facebook.
Recently, upon learning that Slow Food International President Carlo Petrini would be coming by the Slow Food USA office, we asked our Facebook community what they would ask Carlo if they had the chance. As usual, you responded with some real gems and we put Carlo on the hot seat with a few of our favorites. We have transcribed his answers below, but if you would like to hear more from Mr. Petrini, check out the speech he gave to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (the main reason he was with us in New York City). It was the first time the Forum had invited an outside speaker to address the floor, quite an honor for everyone involved in the Slow Food Movement. But back to your questions and Carlo’s answers. We’ve listed a few below, but we still want to hear from you, let us know what you think in the comment’s section below.
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.