What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Wed, July 06, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Slow Food chapters around the world are embarking on an ambitious project: creating 1000 food gardens in 20 countries across Africa.
Slow Food members from all parts of the globe are partnering with African communities in order to cultivate more sustainable and healthy regions. Slow Food USA encourages you to get involved, as several chapters in the US already have.
Want to learn more? Here’s what Samuel Muhunyu, one of the people most responsible for getting the program started, had to say about the genesis of the gardens and the impact they’re already having. We’ll continue to tell the story of how Slow Food members are making a difference with this program through our blog. More contact information and web resources at the end of the post.
Posted on Mon, June 20, 2011 by Intern
The recent donation of cookware from Anolon to Slow Food Skagit Salish Sea means the families of Lincoln Elementary can keep on cookin’!
by Sasha Hippard, SFUSA intern
The recent donation of cookware from Anolon to Slow Food Skagit Salish Sea means the families of Lincoln Elementary can keep on cookin’!
The Lincoln Elementary Family Cooking Classes, started in 2009 by the Slow Food Skagit chapter in Washington state has been providing 1st through 6th graders and their extended families with inspiring opportunities to make and enjoy home-cooked meals together. Since the program’s establishment, Slow Food Skagit has served 30-40 students and families annually, teaching approximately four cooking sessions a year. These fun, educational, hands-on sessions incorporate seasonal produce from Lincoln Elementary own school garden whenever possible and teaches students and parents alike how to make their food good, clean, and fair.
Along with high quality cooking pans of a variety of types, Anolon’s donation also included cookie sheets and a number of different kitchen tools like spatulas and garlic presses. This new cookware has changed what volunteers have been able to cook with the students and families at Lincoln Elementary.
Cooking classes like the ones at Lincoln Elementary are a great way to not only bring families together, but promote healthy and responsible eating habits. It’s so much easier to incorporate simple, yet powerful change into your everyday life when the whole family gets on board and has fun while doing it!
There are endless dishes to try that are healthy, delicious, and responsible, but only if you know where and how to look for the recipes and inspiration. The addition of the Anolon supplies means that the Lincoln Elementary cooking classes don’t have to be limited to a few simply dishes. The sky’s the limit for these families and they are free to explore, experiment and sample all kinds of healthy and delicious meals.
Posted on Fri, June 17, 2011 by Slow Food USA
It’s called the food movement, but what does that really mean? Students and campus dining workers come together to show us that it’s about building community and making change.
by Hnin Hnin and Kyle Schafer
When Slow Food on Campus and UNITE HERE’s Stir It Up Campaign celebrated National Food Month together with Eat-Ins—part potluck, part protest—across the country, it signaled a small but inspiring convergence of two worlds: sustainable food & sustainable jobs.
Over 300 people participated in 6 Eat-Ins hosted by students and local union members at Northwestern, Wesleyan, and Harvard and Yale (jointly) and by SFOC chapters at Hamilton, Vassar, and Clemson. While each Eat-In was unique, they all shared the goal of building community to create change for good food and food workers—including everyone from the farmers and farmworkers who produce the food to the campus dining workers who serve it up.
It’s not a new idea, but it is just now starting to grab the attention of the on-campus food movement: the fight for sustainable food is tied to the struggle for sustainable jobs. Processed food requires less skill to prepare. Lower skills requirements means lower wages for food workers. So when food preparation consists of switching knives for scissors to open bags of processed food, we have to ask ourselves: what’s the difference between skimping on fair wages and benefits and skimping on fresh, healthy food? By sharing stories over a meal, students and dining workers get a chance to hear how the same broken food system impacts one another on both sides of the counter. They get inspired to change campus food together.
Posted on Mon, April 11, 2011 by Slow Food USA
When local chef Nathalie Dupree suggested Slow Food Charleston enter the Let’s Move for Healthy Kids Contest, they had no idea it would be a hit; they’re now one of fifteen semifinalists across the country!
When local chef Nathalie Dupree suggested Slow Food Charleston enter the Let’s Move! Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest, they had no idea it would be a hit; they’re now one of fifteen semifinalists across the country! Partnering with local school food service directors, chefs, local culinary schools representatives, and MUSC Lean Team! advocates, the team got to work. The group worked quickly to bring together a team of students from Burke Middle/High School, a Title One school. Together they collaborated with students to create a kid-approved Southern-style soup that met strict nutritional guidelines. They call it Confetti Soup.
The Recipes for Healthy Kids project marks the beginning of a larger Chefs in Schools initiative developed by Slow Food Charleston. As part of the new initiative, the chapter hopes to improve the quality of food in schools, and with it, create a new generation of healthy eaters. Chefs in Schools will provide ‘taste education’ to students by working directly with area chefs to make great tasting healthy food and provide food service personnel with the tools necessary to bring fresh, healthy meals to students by funding classes at nearby culinary schools. The pilot program is set to begin this summer in two counties.
In the meantime, Burke Middle/High School and Slow Food Charleston are enjoying their semifinalist status, and looking forward to the next stages of the competition. This spring a team of USDA judges will visit the school to try out the Confetti Soup and determine whether or not the group will move on to the final round. You can show your support by voting for the group’s Confetti Soup recipe as the People’s Choice. Simply visit this site (click here) between now and May 15th to cast your vote!
The winning team is pictured above (left to right):
Ms. Carol Rivers (Burke Culinary Arts Teacher)
Jennifer Moore (MUSC Lean Team and Slow Food Charleston)
Auja Ravanel (Burke Middle School student)
Keshawn Jones (Burke Middle School student)
Craig Deihl (Executive Chef- Cypress Restaurant)
Quantifah Lockwood (Burke High School student)
Tyler Manigault (Burke High School student)
Erin Boudolf (CCSD School Nutrition Services Dietician)
(not pictured-Coleen Martin- MUSC Lean Team)
Posted on Thu, April 07, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Every Sunday night at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one might find students gathered for a shared meal of any type of theme or global cuisine.
by Claire Brandow
Every Sunday night at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one might find students gathered for a shared meal of any type of theme or global cuisine. Dinner could be Vietnamese banh mi, a feast of Indian aloo mater and kheer, or an impressive spread of ramp pesto and sorrel soup for a local foods dinner. Though the food and atmosphere change weekly, the objective stays the same: with each of these Family Dinner Nights, the members of Slow Food University of Wisconsin put the philosophy of Slow Food into action. Every meal is a chance to educate and promote the value of good, clean, and fair food in a convivial atmosphere.
Slow Food University of Wisconsin-Madison is particularly active in two venues: improving the campus food system and campaigning to raise awareness about food and agriculture issues. The Family Dinner Nights are at the core of SFUW’s work. Each night includes a cooking lesson followed by a communal dinner. SFUW recently received a gift of pots, pans, and kitchen gadgets from Anolon Cookware as part of the company’s “Creating a Delicious Future” initiative. Everything from the cooking to cleaning is communal: not only is the food prepared and enjoyed together, five people each week sign up to help with cleaning in exchange for a free meal.
The two-year tradition of Family Dinner Night now attracts as many as 100 students each week. SFUW uses each night to educate on a different topic, whether it is a cultural lesson on the country of that meal’s origins or a lecture on the food movement and food sovereignty. Dinners also often serve to benefit local family farms and promote local producers and vendors.
SFUW co-leader Danny Spitzberg insists newcomers should always feel welcome. “We don’t bite until dinner is ready! We’re an evolving community. We always welcome anyone interested in eating good food, meeting new people, and having good old fashioned fun.”
Posted on Sat, April 02, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Help schools serve healthy food: email the USDA with your suggestions for implementing the Child Nutrition Act.
Last year, thanks to your efforts, the Child Nutrition Act passed with increased funding for each school meal, commitment to farm to school programs, and increased nutrition standards for all foods found on school campuses. THANK YOU.
Now that the dust has settled, we must ensure that schools are given the tools to put these historic wins into practice. What will those changes mean for lunch ladies and school nutrition directors as they try to get real food onto the lunch trays of our nation’s children? As the USDA figures out how to move forward from legislation to real live lunch, they are seeking input from you. The comment period is open until April 13th.
Help schools serve healthy food: email the USDA with your suggestions for implementing the Child Nutrition Act. We’ve got suggested comments here that you can simply copy and then paste onto the USDA’s form. Of course you should also feel very free to write in your own words.
Simply CLICK ON THIS LINK. Then you paste/type your comments into the comment box. Easy!
We commend the USDA for updating school standards—we just want to make sure that school food directors are empowered to make these changes, and given the support they need. These updated standards should be allowed to succeed rather than becoming unfair burdens to the schools as they try to implement them. We’re following the lead of our partners at School Food FOCUS, who work with school nutrition directors, and understand the on-the-ground challenges they face. We think it is vitally important to support school cafeterias so that they can bring healthy, delicious, local food to the lunchroom.
We urge the USDA to:
Posted on Thu, December 02, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
After a year and a half of campaigning, we are very happy to see that the House today passed the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act.
After a year and a half of campaigning, we are thrilled to see that the House today passed the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Our nation’s school children were long overdue for an improved child nutrition bill that would allow schools to serve an improved, healthier school lunch.
There were significant and frustrating compromises made along the way: most recently, the funding of the bill with SNAP money—an aggressive move made initially in the Senate version, but then eventually also adopted by the House—that was likely intended to split the school food advocacy community and thus kill the bill. The school food advocacy community were rightfully outraged at the notion of taking money from hungry kids to….feed hungry kids. We described our somewhat reluctant shift of tactic in an earlier blog post—you can click here to read it.
Ultimately 1,350 organizations ranging from Feeding America to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to Slow Food USA joined together in a letter to the House of Representatives urging them to pass the bill before the end of the year. Today, it seems, that pressure finally worked.
It’s an imperfect bill, one that fell short of our hopes, however, it has several important gains within. What’s good about this bill:
Posted on Wed, November 17, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
UPDATE: This bill will be voted on Wednesday Dec. 1. Slow Food USA joins hundreds of organizations around the country in writing a letter to Reps. Miller and Kline strongly urging them to pass the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act immediately.
UPDATE: This bill will be voted on Wednesday Dec. 1.
After one year of hard work on the part of activists, school nutrition directors, parents and politicians to pass improved school lunch legislation, everything seemed hinged to collapse this Fall after the Senate passed a version of the bill that would take money from future food stamp funding.
This move succeeded in splitting the school lunch advocacy community. Some felt that a badly-funded bill was better than no bill at all; others felt that it was crazy to take money from hungry children in order to…. feed hungry children. At that time we asked you to call your House Reps to say “No! Don’t pass a bad bill, we’d rather have no bill at all.”
Now, as Congress people return post-election for what is called their “lame duck session,” urgency mounts and tactics shift. On November 11th Slow Food USA joined hundreds of organizations around the country in writing a letter to Reps. Miller and Kline strongly urging them to pass the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act immediately, express concerns about SNAP funding, and acknowledging the rock-and-a-hard place we’re all in.
In light of how difficult it will be to pass such a significant piece of legislation in the more fiscally-conservative congress, we felt it important to join many of our allies to urge the House to pass the significantly improved legislation despite the current cuts to SNAP. We will fight to return those funds, but we must pass CNR now.
As Rep George Miller said yesterday : “It’s this opportunity or we lose it.”
We have decided that the most important thing right now is to get an improved school lunch bill passed as soon as possible. We feel that our children have waited long enough and that the several improvements in this bill—including more money per child per meal and improved guidelines for food sold outside the lunch line—represent something worth fighting for.
Call Congress to let to let them know that we want the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (S.3307) passed now, not later. Dial 1-877-698-8228 and enter your zip code to be connected to your Representative.
Posted on Fri, October 01, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
Late Wednesday night the House extended the current Child Nutrition Act to avoid passing the Senate’s inferior version, leaving school lunch advocates flummoxed.
For the past few weeks we had been pushing the House to pass their version (instead of the Senate’s) of the child nutrition bill, and to do it as quickly as possible.
Taking money from SNAP (food stamps) to pay for school lunch—as the current Senate version does—is clearly not a good idea. Also not a good idea? Keeping the current bill for two more months when school food directors could really use the improvements (and extra 6 cents per child per meal) that would come with both versions of the new bill.
Which is what the House did late Wednesday night : extended the current Child Nutrition Act to avoid passing the Senate’s inferior version, leaving school lunch advocates flummoxed wondering whether to cheer the fact that cuts won’t be made to SNAP, or jeer the fact that our children have been left in the lurch.
First Lady Michelle Obama is frustrated with Pelosi and others who stalled the bill. School nutrition directors are frustrated that they will continue to go without the reimbursement increase; parents and advocates are concerned that junk food will continue to be unregulated.
Talk about a lose-lose situation.
The current extension brings us forward 2 months—at which point we’ll push the House to remain true to its convictions and pass a better child nutrition bill and do it with funding that doesn’t rob Peter to pay Paul.
Posted on Mon, September 20, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
The Child Nutrition Act expires on September 30th; let’s reach out to our House Reps and urge them to pass this billand reject any efforts to cut funding to other nutrition programs to do it.
For many children, school has been in session for weeks. Lots of things may have changed for them since they broke for vacation—they are taller, older, smarter perhaps. One thing definitely has not changed, and that’s their school lunch.
The Child Nutrition Act expires on September 30th—one year after it was originally supposed to be passed. School lunch advocates, parents and school nutrition directors are all waiting anxiously for Congress to demonstrate its commitment to the health of our nation’s children.
In mid August, right before their break, the Senate passed their version of the bill (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act), but in a troubling move, they funded it by cutting money from food stamps (SNAP). Call me crazy, but this seems to be the nutritional equivalent of stealing from Peter to pay Paul.
As of Monday, Congress is back in session. That means that in the next 15 days the House must pass its version of the bill, and then Congress must reconcile the two and come up with one final version of the bill. That is a lot to do in a short amount of time. It is imperative that we all reach out to our House Reps and urge them to pass this bill before the deadline and to reject any efforts to cut funding to other nutrition programs to do it.
You have held eat-ins around the country; you have signed our petition declaring your support for real food in schools; you have written and called your legislators—you have been amazing grassroots advocates for this entire reauthorization process. Now we are in the homestretch.
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.