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Why You Should Care About the Slow Food Movement

by
author image Lea Basch, M.S., RD
Lea Basch, M.S., RD is the registered dietitian for The Tasteful Pantry. Lea has been in the nutrition industry for over 30 years and was one of the founders of Longmont United Hospital’s nutrition program in Boulder, Colorado. She's a diabetes educator and focuses on gluten-free diets and food intolerances.
Why You Should Care About the Slow Food Movement
Slow food is about more than just what you eat. Photo Credit Trinette Reed/Stocksy

The slow food movement supports "a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that's good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet" — in other words, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

In the 1980s, a group of activists started the slow food movement to protest the construction of the first McDonald’s in Rome and to support regional traditions, good food, and a slow pace of life.

“Slow food reminds us of the importance of knowing where our food comes from." - Alice Waters, chef

The manifesto of the movement is good, clean and fair: Food should taste good, be produced in a clean way that doesn’t harm the environment, animal welfare or our health, and food producers should receive fair wages.

Read More: Which Is Better: Wild-Caught or Farmed Fish?

A slow food “consumer” is also called a “co-producer” because we become part of the production process: Our collective consumer choices can change how food is produced and distributed.

How Do You Become a “Slow Foodie”?

-Cook. Slow food is about taking the time to cook good food properly and realizing that fast food is bad for your health and cultural food traditions. Use family recipes and focus on whole, unprocessed foods.

-Use local water. Bottled water costs money and energy to transport from the source and the plastic bottles usually contain BPA, a toxic substance that's bad for you and the environment. If you’re worried about local water quality or your pipes are old, use a high-quality water filter.

Support your local community by shopping at farmers markets.
Support your local community by shopping at farmers markets. Photo Credit PointImages/AdobeStock

-Shop locally. Shop at farmers markets and buy what’s in season at your grocery store. Avoiding the energy consumed from long-range transportation helps our environment. Buy seasonally and take advantage of natural food preservation such as freezing, drying and home canning.

Read More: What "Organic," "All-Natural" & Other Food Labels REALLY Mean

-Buy organic and non-GMO when possible. Based on slow food principles, genetically modified seeds and pesticides influence biodiversity of the environment and our health. Try growing your own food when possible, even if it’s just some pots of veggies on your patio.

-Join a local slow food chapter and check out events that they sponsor. Local chapters often offer classes on growing, cooking and preserving food, farm tours, opportunities to volunteer on a farm, book clubs, potlucks and benefit dinners.

It can be cheaper to buy foods that are in season.
It can be cheaper to buy foods that are in season. Photo Credit Posh/AdobeStock

Is Slow Food for Everyone?

It’s true that living the slow food lifestyle involves more time in the kitchen and potentially higher costs in order to compensate farmers fairly. But there are ways to do it even if you're tight on time and budget:

-Buy whole foods that are in season. They’ll be more abundant and less expensive than foods that are out of season.

-Many local slow food events are free or inexpensive, and there are usually ways to get involved by volunteering.

-Cook food in large batches and freeze. Use slow cookers that you can leave unattended while you’re at work or pressure cookers that speed up cooking time.

Overall, the slow food movement is a great thing for our bodies and the environment. It’s all about delicious, fresh food that honors the environment, food producers and our local communities and being aware of what we eat and where our food comes from.

What Do YOU Think?

Have you heard of the slow food movement? Is it something that you think you could achieve? Do you think it's possible for everyone to adopt this kind of lifestyle? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about slow food!

Lea Basch, M.S., RD, is the registered dietitian for The Tasteful Pantry. Lea is a diabetes educator and focuses now on gluten-free diets and food intolerances. Connect with Lea and The Tasteful Pantry on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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