What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Thu, November 06, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Theres still a buzz on the streets todayits the buzz of huge voter turnout, of citizen investment, of millions of Americans throwing their hats in the ring.
What better time for Slow Food USA to in the words of our Executive Director Erika Lesser at the US Meeting at Terra Madreget political?
Theres a lot to report from Slow Foods most recent edition of Terra Madre, a gathering of food communities from around the world, but today Ill start with a report back on the US meeting. This gathering of over 800 food producers, cooks, students, and educators from around the country was the one opportunity at the conference for the US to discuss our agenda, our platform for moving forward into what is proving to be a new dawn. The agenda was laid out by Erika Lesser and our new President, Josh Viertel, in his first public address in his new position.
As discussed in yesterday’s post, our agenda: Building a future food system.
How are we going to do this?
Viertel put forth an emphasis on fostering youth involvement and development, as well as a strong cry for promoting and supporting Food Justice (the vexing conundrum of paying farmers a fair wage while also making sure that food is affordable to all).
The next Food and Farm Bill needs us; urban farms need us. And heyits official now: Barack Obama needs us. More specifically, he needs to hear from us, and part of our plan moving forward is to figure how to say what we need to say, and how to make sure its heard. As mentioned yesterday, you can add your voice to the Declaration for Health Food and Agriculture and the US Working Group on the Food Crisis Call to Action.
For a wide array of coverage, and an outside perspectiveeverything from the speakers, to the food, to the waterplease check out:
And over the next couple weeks, well share the words of farmers, cooks and activists who shared their stories and visions for the future of our food system at Terra Madre.
Posted on Wed, October 01, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Slow Food USA staffer Julia De Martini Day
What will you be eating this Halloween? Is your candy Good, Clean, and Fair?
Slow Food USA has partnered with Global Exchange to spread the word about where our chocolate comes from on Halloween night with Reverse Trick-or-Treating. Last Halloween, thousands of children, students, parents and others gave Fair Trade chocolate BACK to the households who gave them candy while Trick-or-Treating. This year, we hope to reach a quarter of a million households across the country in an effort to further awareness about where our food comes from and how it is produced.
While Fair Trade does not address all hardships faced by farmers abroad, its goals are to provide a better price and support sustainable agricultural development. A good resource for reading more about Fair Trade is on the Fair Trade Federation website.
Posted on Wed, July 09, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
To add to yesterday's post about planting an edible garden on the White House lawn:
Roger Doiron, over at Kitchen Gardeners International (whom we wrote about earlier this year) also has a petition for you to sign, as well as a fleshed out plan for getting our next President to roll up his sleeves and find his inner farmer.
Also, we heard that Alice (Waters) has gotten a verbal commitment from Obama to do just that…
Posted on Fri, June 27, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
For the first time since Slow Food USA was founded in 2000, we are restructuring our membership rates. But we can't do it alone, so we are asking our trusted members to give us feedback on their experience with Slow Food.
Please take part in our 2008 Membership Survey. Why, you ask? Well…
And if those aren't good enough reasons, we will do a drawing and select two lucky participants to receive a special gift that includes a copy of Slow Food Nation by Carlo Petrini, foods from the Ark of Taste, and you're very own Slow Food USA t-shirt!
The survey will be open for 1 week, so click here by Wednesday, July 2nd for the opportunity to share your thoughts.
You'll be happy you did.
Posted on Tue, June 24, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
There are only 3 days left to bid on this year's exciting list of donated items. On Thursday, June 26th at 3pm EST Slow Food USA's Online Auction will come to a close.
We're auctioning off a wonderful wood-fired oven from Los Angeles Ovenworks, a pair of VIP tickets to any Jack Johnson Summer '08 concert date of your choice, B&B stays in places such as Italy, the Appalachian Mountains, Vermont and Texas, a whole host of unique and delicious offerings from some of the finest US artisanal food producers, autographed books by authors such as Michael Pollan, photographer Annie Liebovitz, and a number of cookbook authors. Other items include cooking classes with renowned chefs, private wine tastings and tours, and of course, no Slow Food auction would be complete without an extensive listing of dinners and brunches at some of the country's most talked about restaurants and cocktail lounges.
So, go to Slow Food USA's Auction Homepage and place your bids! Remember: 100% of proceeds from the winning bid goes directly to support Slow Food USA's efforts to support our network of farmers, chefs, educators and students who are working to create a food system that is good, clean and fair!
Now that's shopping you can feel good about.
Posted on Mon, June 23, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
As recently as nine months or so ago, we used to talk about "the true cost of food," hoping that Americans could begin to understand that the ultra-cheap food as fuel they were eating was priced un-naturally low, that farmers and farmworkers were paying the price, and hoping that people could/would learn how to pay more for higher quality food; or that our government could support and pass a Farm Bill that rejected commodity subsidies. It's surreal and upsetting now to see food prices rise and rise, but not for the reasons we hoped.
If you'd like to donate money to help Iowa farmers, you can do so through our Terra Madre Relief Fund. Slow Food USA created the Terra Madre Relief Fund in 2005. The grassroots-driven fund was created after Hurricane Katrina's tremendous storm surge caused extensive damage along the central Gulf Coast. For many of the region's farmers, food producers, and fishers, the disaster laid waste to their livelihoods.
The Relief Fund was inspired by Terra Madre, the bi-annual event hosted by Slow Food International in Turin, Italy, which brings farmers and other food producers from around the world together in a network of solidarity. Much of the fundraising has been marshaled through local Slow Food events organized by convivium leaders and Terra Madre network participants as well as through individual giving. The Terra Madre Relief Fund helped many of the Gulf Coast region's food producers begin to rebuild the area's gastronomic and agricultural landscape.
Today we seek to aid farmers in the Midwest. Your donation will help disaster victims replenish their livestock, replace damaged or destroyed buildings, buy new seed, repair damaged equipment, and more. Help our farmers rebuild, replant and return to market.
Also: if you live in the Bay Area and have been meaning to subscribe to Edible San Francisco, now is the time. Between now and July 1st, 100% of their subscription price will go towards Iowa farmers.
Posted on Mon, June 16, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
It's that time of year again… Slow Food USA is pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Online Auction is now LIVE! Visit the Slow Food USA auction web page for a complete listing of all of this year's items up for grabs.
You can search all available items, place your bid and track competing ones starting today, June 16th, through Thursday June 26th. Remember to check back with the eBay site frequently to make sure your offer still stands, and that these great items are sure to be yours!
Posted on Thu, June 05, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Here in New York City we've finally made the annual swift jump from late winter straight to summer. (We have heard there is a season called spring; here it is merely the name of a street). That being said, summer is a glorious thing, full of long-awaited produce, and outdoor fun–like picnics.
Last summer, Slow Food USA partnered with several other farms and local food organizations around the country to produce five American Traditions picnics, and we've now got instructions on our website for how you and your food community can plan one for this summer.
"Aren't all picnics an American Tradition?" you might ask. Well, these picnics celebrate endangered foods–such as those found on the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste. Given the arrival of the Renewing America's Fod Traditions Endangered Foods book, and our new partnership with LocalHarvest (both reported on here, last month), now is a perfect time to plan one of your own.
How do you plan an American Traditions Picnic?
Producing a meal or dish with endangered ingredients has great rewards—the ingredients are extraordinary in flavor, color, smell, feel and taste. Before the fork hits the plate though, many things must happen—farmers need to be consulted, the rare fruit or vegetable may need to be planted, and orders for rare, regional beef, pork, or poultry need to be placed. There (usually) isn't a one-stop shopping destination for endangered foods. So just how do you produce an event with endangered foods?
Check out our website for ideas and directions!
Posted on Mon, May 19, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
If there's a food producer in your life/community who you think is doing innovative work in sustainable agriculture and whom you think has been a leader in supporting their regional food system, consider nominating him or her for the 6th Annual Glynwood Harvest Award.
This year's categories are:
Click here for nomination details and to make an electronic submission. On their site you can also read more about the Glynwood Center (which helps communities address change in ways that conserve local culture and natural resources while strengthening economic well-being), as well as read about past Harvest Award winners. Nominations must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than July 21, 2008.
Posted on Tue, April 22, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Why should you plant a garden?
1. You'll have lunch and dinner in minutes. In the past week alone the NY Times has run two articles about the virtues of planting your own garden. First up was the article about Kitchen Gardeners International (whom we wrote about earlier this year), and a short history of the "victory garden." How good is this homegrown stuff ? "Like buried gold," says Barbara Damrosch, whose new gardening book just hit the shelves.
2. You can reduce your carbon footprint. Or, at the very least, do "one thing that is real and particular (as well as symbolic) and that, come what may, will offer its own rewards." This quote comes from the second article in the NY Times, from their "Low Carbon Catalog," in which Michael Pollan proposes a backyard garden as that "one thing."
3. All the cool kids are doing it. Slow Food Nation–Slow Food's large-scale food event being held this Labor Day in San Francisco–is planning a Victory Garden at the Civic Center. They'll be working with community gardening associations to plant a plethora of edible greenery, including seeds from the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste. In mid-July, they'll have a public planting day when people who want to can come help get the shoots in the ground. More details to follow on their website.
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.