Slow Food

In 1986 Slow Food was born in Italy with a name to directly confront the concept of fast food. It is now a global organisation and was started by Carlo Petrini from Bra, near Turin in Italy.

The clip below is for those of you that speak Italian.

He had already been a politically active man, he was an activist in the communist movement but was moved to take action with regard to food and wine in response to several events:

-a crisis in 1986 in Nazol, Italy where some wine makers had begun to illegally put methanol in wine to increase their wine’s alcohol content. Twenty three people were killed and dozens left blind or with serious neurological problems. The Italian wine industry reputation was ruined at the time. Some countries blocked Italian wine.

Image result for wine crisis italy

-McDonald s attempting to put a fast food store by the Spanish Steps in Rome. (I did notice McDonald s does have a pretty big branch not far along the road to the site originally planned).


The organisation seeks to preserve traditional and regional eating and cooking, and encourages growing food from the local seed and livestock pools. They are opposed to the globalisation of our food. I watched an interview with Petrini where he used the example of peppers being grown hydroponically in the Netherlands for export to Italy, and Italy growing Tulip bulbs for export to the Netherlands. Similar examples boil my blood here in New Zealand where we export our dairy products and fruit and fish, only to then import another country’s identical or inferior products. When I travel overseas I see NZ Kiwifruit and meat cheaper than we could buy the same items at home and yet they have been shipped in cold storage to the other side of the planet.

This clip is in English.

There are now all sorts of offshoots of the original Slow Food movement such as:

-the Osterie d’Italia guide (also available as an app), showing the restaurants serving locally produced food in traditional ways.

Terra Madre foundation for the players directly involved in food chain production of sustainable food.

-the Eataly collaboration, (not a part of Slow Food but works with Slow Food to offer the closest shopping experience to what Slow Food advocates including the local suppliers that embody the Slow Food principles).

Clip in Italian.

Ark of Taste where local varieties of plants are preserved in the face of monoculturalism. They point to the example of how only 4 or 5 varieties of apples are available globally in our shops when there are actually hundreds that could be.

University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo offering degree level and post graduate level courses in the principles of what Slow Food stands for.

-Finally, one of the key projects and the aspect that really captured my heart is to build 10 000 gardens in Africa. These are being built in schools and communities, and co-ordinators are trained to oversee the management of them. I cannot begin to do this project justice by describing it all but go see for yourselves. It is the future of humanity encompassed in a web site.

Image result for vegetable images




5 thoughts on “Slow Food

  1. Yes, Andrea, the slow food movement is alive & well in Le Marche region. Actually it’s difficult to eat or buy food that originates outside the region, and most fresh food is ‘nostrano’ & comes no further afield than 5 kilometres of our town. If it doesn’t grow to ripeness in season, it isn’t eaten. Very sensible. I remember from my time in the UK, there most fresh fruit & a lot of vegetables came from ‘abroad’. Nothing has the taste & goodness of locally ripened food.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very interesting, Andrea. Here in Brooklyn there is a movement to produce and sell locally. The creativity shown is amazing. In blighted urban areas abandoned lots are transformed into community gardens. There are even rooftop gardens. The city has programs where young people participate in farmers markets. They learn the business of food as well as the growing of it. There is even a project called Bronx Chicks where residents raise chickens and sell their organic eggs.

    Much of this reminds me of the “Back to the Earth” movement of the 1970s except the scope is now bigger and more sophisticated. We’re all in this together and have to work together. It’s about the community, not about running away to the country and roughing it on one’s own.

    They even promote maple syrup from trees in New York State. There’s no reason why we have to buy imported maple syrup from Canada when we have so much available right here in our own state. Our purchases will contribute to the success of the New York State producers of that syrup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It resonates for me when you said it’s about community not running off to do it by ourselves. That had always been our dream (to run off) but find we can’t leave our community. We just need to find creative ways to do it right here where we are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and it looks like the people in Italy are doing it well, too. What your other commenter said resonates with me, too.

        Here in the US we can grow our own blueberries. I do not see why I have to have blueberries from Chile. The kind sold now in markets are smaller and less sweet than the ones I remember from the past, before these agreements regarding importing and exporting food began.


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