Slow Food: Join the Movement

If there’s something inside you that spurns society’s obsession with fast food, you owe it to yourself to check out the Slow Food Movement.

This movement is all about getting back to the basics when it comes to the food we eat. It is about regaining an interest in our food and how it tastes, as well as how our food gets to us and what kinds of ramifications this has on the rest of the world.

The basic ethos of the movement concerns buying food in season and locally. It concerns supporting local economies and eating food that is simple, fairly traded, and good for your body.

The slow food movement, of course, is the antithesis of fast food. If you think this might be something you’d like to join or contribute to, here are a few basic tenets of the slow food movement to get you started:
 
1. Buy local. When you purchase foods locally, you support local farming and industry. Local foods are more eco-friendly, too, because these foods don’t have to be transported for miles to get to your supermarket shelves. And they tend to be more nutritious. Fresh fruits and vegetables start to lose nutritional content once they are picked. By eating foods early, you get more of those vitamins.

2. Eat food in season. When you buy locally, you naturally eat whatever is in season. Many experts say that our bodies were meant to eat what is found in our local environments. In cold climates, our bodies need hearty, dense foods, so the emphasis is on foods such as potatoes and other root vegetables. In hot climates, on the other hand, the emphasis is on fruits and vegetables with high water-content, such as cucumbers, melons, and peppers. These local foods contribute to our need for more fluid and vitamins during the hot weather.

Eating food in season is also good for your budget. You’ll be able to eat the best produce without paying an arm and a leg.

Eating in season supports your health, the earth, and your local growers.

3. Cook and bake from scratch. That does not mean you need to spend all of your time slaving away in the kitchen. In fact, the slow food movement would advocate just the opposite – and provides resources to help you cook wholesome and delicious foods from scratch with very few ingredients (and wasted packaging).

The secret is to prepare a variety of seasonal, fresh foods without resorting to a lot of pre-prepared stuff. Eating healthy food raw is about as easy and fast as it gets.

And it will save you money, too. Prepackaged foods tend to cost more than fresh foods, both in terms of money and environmental costs, with all that packaging and waste - and you’ll probably be ingesting a lot of extra sodium and preservatives.

4. Slow down and focus on your food. A key part of the slow food movement is to make food a priority in our lives once again. It’s all about connecting with and enjoying our food. It’s about letting food take center stage in our social lives as we make mealtimes important gathering times with family and friends.

While these elaborate mealtimes aren’t always possible with busy family schedules, the slow food movement maintains that, once we parents start placing more importance on family meals, children will naturally follow suit.

And when we show our kids that food is meant to be pleasurable and healthy; something to be enjoyed and savored with family, rather than gulped and chugged in the car on the way to yet another activity, they will take these more mindful patterns to other areas of their lives, as well as to future generations.

As the slow food movement gains momentum, we see communities connect to their food as well as to each other. Eating fresh and natural foods, supporting our local communities and the earth and gathering daily around the family table is a great first step to a more interdependent life that is less rushed and ultimately more fulfilling.

You can learn more about The Slow Food Movement on SlowFood.com, where you can join the official slow food movement, make a donation, or adopt a project. http://www.slowfood.com