Posted on Tue, March 02, 2010 by Jerusha Klemperer
3 Comments | Categories: Events, School Food, Youth Food Movement, Uncategorized,
by Daniela Salazar Monárrez, 8th grader at Hillcrest Academy and Slow Food Club founder
Yesterday the Slow Food clubs of Van Avery Prep and Hillcrest Academy got together with the Slow Food USA president Joshua Viertel. Josh kindly came to Temecula to meet our two Slow Food clubs, which are the first middle school clubs in the country. We had prepared our questions and were armed with freshly picked lettuce, organic salad dressing, and lemonade made from school grown lemons. With tasty food and our questions ready to go, both schools felt comfortable for the arrival of our Slow Food celebrity.
Josh was tall. He was warm and friendly, greeting with a smile and handshake. All the members of both clubs got to shake his hand and listen to some information about the Slow Food Organization. The younger members got to ask a few questions, then the twelve chosen representatives went to the round table (which was really squared). The smaller group settled down and got ready to ask questions.
After an introduction by yours truly, the questions began. They ranged from personal specific things like Do you have a garden? to bigger more general things like What would you change about food in the world, and why? but each student got a chance to ask a question.
We learned about how he believes that the fact that some people don’t buy good food doesn’t mean they have bad morals. ... It says something bad about our society, that people don’t have enough money to buy good food for themselves, he told us. We discovered that even Josh has bought fast food, when he was stuck at an airport, hungry, and had only fast food available. No one is perfect, he said the main thing is how you act most of the time. Josh explained his interest in slow food and how he believed in the concept before he heard about the organization.
He believes that a social movement is growing and gaining power though people. He shares how important is to use the Internet to reach people, but that talking to them face-to-face is even more important. Something that he proved possible by taking his time to visit us and answer some of our questions. I found Josh to be a perfect leader for Slow Food. He had strong opinions but also wanted to listen. He asked us what we thought, what we were doing, our ideas. He was as interested in our waste-free lunch campaign as we were of his movement to change a federal law so public schools can have better lunches.
I can’t speak for everyone who was present, but meeting with a Slow Food leader was encouraging and makes a slow food lifestyle seen possible. It has to start with us young people, to change the world so we will either be living in a fast food nation, or a slow food community.