April 2009 Issue
New Mantra: Slow Down, We Move (and Eat) Too Fast
Slow food. Itís the hot phrase on the lips of both "foodies" (a term for chefs, gourmets and anyone who enjoys food with a passion) and nutrition experts alike. So just what is "slow food?" The short answeróitís everything fast food is not. When you feast on a fast-food burger, itís likely the meat came from feed-lot, grain-fed cattle shipped to large processing plants through gigantic distribution systems, and then was slapped on a refined, puffed-up hamburger bun, packaged by an overworked, underpaid employee and eaten on the run. Now, compare that scenario to dining on a healthful meal featuring foods that honor regional traditions passed down through the generations, while surrounded by good friends and family. Moreover, the foods feature local, sustainable, minimally processed ingredients in which both the livestock and the food preparation staff have been treated humanely and fairly. Thatís the slow food difference. How It Came to Be. Slow food is more than an abstract idea; itís a 17,000-member international organization founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986. He maintained that the industrialization of food was responsible for standardizing (read limiting) the worldís taste, and he argued that this phenomenon was leading to the extinction of thousands of food varieties.
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