What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Wed, October 08, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Slow Food USA staffer Patrick Keeler
Pssst you wanna be a (Slow) Food Network Star?
Despite all previous declarations that only megalomaniacs, bad karaoke junkies, select residents of Orange County, bored housewives and perennial bachelors were allowed or wanted to be reality TV stars, I made the bold and hypocritical move to audition for a reality television series. Not just any reali-tv show, but one with flavor”: Americas Next Food Network Star, but only after some coaxing from the rest of the SFUSA staff around the lunch table.
Posted on Tue, October 07, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Slow Food USA Intern, Cecilia Estreich
To open the recent panel discussion on MFK Fisher at the The New School, food historian Andrew F Smith noted that there are only two reactions to the renowned food writers work. First, there are the people who, after reading a sentence, devour everything the woman has ever written. Then, there are the ones who cannot make it through that same sentence no matter how doggedly they try. Since I finished my first MFK Fisher book, I have fallen devoutly, passionately (militantly?) into the former category. I would read a compilation of her grocery lists if only someone would publish it.
Until listening to the panelists at the New School, though, it had never occurred to me how forcefully her attitude towards gastronomy reflects the Slow Food mentality. Fishers observations and musings on the things she ate are always one part poetry and one part practicality.
Posted on Tue, September 23, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Slow Food USA staffer Julia Middleton
Are you interested in the science behind where your food comes from, how it is grown and the new organic food movement? Do you have a passion for business and food and need a way to connect the two in your academics? Have you considered the cultural significance of food in different societies? These questions and many more can be explored in the new dual major EcoGastronomy Program offered at the University of New Hampshire.
As fall begins and a new school year is underway, the University of New Hampshire has unveiled its new dual major EcoGastronomy Program. Students in the program will take an integrated approach to their education by complementing their primary major with a combination of hands on learning, practical skills training and international study opportunities. The EcoGastronomy Program includes 5 required courses, one elective and 15 credits from the University of Gastronomic Sciences, which will continue to nurture the relationship between the program and Slow Food.
The University of New Hampshires EcoGastronomy Program has had a special relationship with Slow Food as the program was inspired by a visit from Carlo Petrini in 2006. After he was presented with an honorary degree at the University, faculty and staff from the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, the Whittemore Schools of Business and Economics and the University Office of Sustainability came together to develop the core curriculum and plan of study for this new degree. The relationship with Slow Food has continued as students at the University of New Hampshire worked together to start a now thriving Slow Food chapter on Campus.
University students across the country are responding to a heightened awareness of food in society by demanding dual degree programs, study abroad opportunities and seminars with a focus on food issues locally, nationally and internationally. Congratulations to the University of New Hampshire and the other institutions here and abroad that are working to make educational opportunities available to students, and thus informing the next generation about ways to make good, clean and fair food available to everyone.
Posted on Tue, September 16, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
This month’s Gastronomica magazine has a fascinating article on the prison phenomenon of “spread.” It’s only available in print, so I do recommend—if you’re not a subscriber already—hitting the newsstand for a copy.
The article documents how prisoners are creating “home-cooked” meals using filched and de-constructed ingredients from meal-time as well as processed snacks available from the canteen. It’s an amazing testimony to the desire for self-expression through food preparation; to the basic human need to create community around a meal; and to the individuality of each of our palates, based on culture, biology, and taste. Almost each and every version uses ramen noodles as a base, with wild and unlikely add-ins, like super spicy Cheetos, fruit drink mix, and jelly.
Also fascinating: to hear the ingenious ways some inmates have for breaking down highly processed foods into their component parts. It’s a wacky cycle—foods are processed, sold to prisons, who sell them to prisoners, who in turn break them back down into basic elements (like sugar, oil, etc.). The naive idealist can’t help but think: couldn’t you sell them these basic ingredients at the canteen? Instead of Cheetos, couldn’t you sell, er, cheese?
Posted on Fri, August 15, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
It probably won't come as a surprise to any of you, but the Slow Food USA staff is rife with CSA-members, market devotees and home chefs. The results are bag lunches that any playground bully would pummel a classmate for.
Back in the spring, the staffed weighed in with asparagus ideas, today they answer the question:
It's August, what're you eating?
For most people, it's blueberries, tomatoes, corn, and peaches! (for some reason people always write peaches with an exclamation point).
Board member and blogger Chef Kurt Friese wrote up what he's eating on Grist, in "The Height of the Market."
Executive Director Erika Lesser spent last weekend doing a demo at her local farmers market and "made a delish salad of purslane, cucumber, radish and mustard vinaigrette."
(what's purslane, you might be asking…click here for Wildman Steve Brill's description)
Intern Katie Cohen has been making use of all of these incredible tomatoes: " I chop the nicest looking tomatoes I can find and put them in a bowl with some garlic, sea salt, olive oil, a little bit of vinegar. Have this sit out until the whole thing gets juicy. Toss with hot pasta and maybe some diced fresh mozzarella." She's also making panzanella: Grilled bread, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, olive oil, and vinegar
And finally, this recipe comes from Development Assistant Patrick Keeler:
Patrick's Nutty Kale/Collards:
I've been making this from memory so long I don't even know where it came from.
Posted on Fri, August 01, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
In what is now becoming a tradition, some links for your weekend perusal:
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 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, May 29, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
If you've been in a hospital recently, whether as a patient or as a visitor, you know that the saddest thing in there might be the food. Maybe you've even wondered: how can they serve this junk in a hospital? The staff nutritionists will meet with patients and tell them to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, but those things generally won't be on the hospital food menu.
Healthcare Without Harm is an international coalition of organizations that works to transform the health care sector so it is no longer a source of harm to people and the environment. They put out an encouraging press release today that reports that 127 hospitals nationwide have made significant changes in their buying practices "towards more sustainably produced, healthier choices for patients, staff and visitors" :
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2008 8:00 A.M. ET
REPORT OUTLINES LEADING TREND IN HEALTH CARE SECTOR: HOSPITALS NATIONWIDE PURCHASING LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE FOOD
Details efforts of 127 Hospitals Nationwide in buying healthier food to promote public health
For 127 hospitals across the United States, the words "hospital food" and "healthy communities, healthy environment" are one and the same, according to a new report released by Health Care Without Harm today. The "Healthy Food in Health Care" report outlines concrete steps being taken by hospitals nationwide to change their food buying practices towards more sustainably produced, healthier choices for patients, staff and visitors. "We applaud the 127 facilities, in 21 states across the country, including some that serve over 9000 meals every day, that have pledged to source local, nutritional, sustainable food," says Jamie Harvie, National Coordinator of the Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative. "These hospitals recognize that their healthcare food dollars are an important investment in preventive medicine." The Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge outlines the steps to be taken by the health care industry to improve the health of their patients, local communities and the environment. This Pledge Report details the concrete food purchasing steps these facilities are making. For example:
• 80 facilities (70%) are purchasing up to 40% of their produce locally
• Over 90 facilities (80%) are purchasing rBGH-free milk
• 100% have increased fresh fruit and vegetable offerings
• 50 facilities (44%) are purchasing meat produced without the use of hormones or antibiotics
"By serving nutritious, local, sustainably grown food to their patients, staff and visitors, hospitals are practicing good preventive medicine," stated David Hutchinson, M.D., and President of the Minnesota Academy of Family Practice.
"The purchase of meat and poultry raised without non-therapeutic antibiotics, milk produced without recombinant bovine growth hormones, organic, whole grain and less processed foods and support for CSA's and farmers markets are important investments for the health care sector to make in the health of people, communities and the environment." "These numbers are just the beginning," adds Harvie. "This initiative is not yet a year and a half old and more hospitals are signing every month. We've jumped from 19 to 21 States and added 8 more facilities in the last month."
Hospitals around the country are linking their operations to impacts on human and environmental health, and an emerging part of this trend is increased attention to food service. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is not alone in its work to encourage support for local, sustainable food. In 2007, the American Public Health Association recognized the urgency of transforming our food system and passed a policy to promote environmental sustainability, improve nutritional health and ensure social justice. That same year, the California Medical Association passed a resolution that encourages hospitals to adopt policies that increase the purchasing and serving of local, sustainable food.
"By supporting local, sustainable food systems, these facilities are promoting health at the individual, community and global level," stated Harvie. "Across the country, pledged hospitals are continuously working to address the public and environmental impacts from current industrialized food production practices by sourcing nutritious, local sustainable food."
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.