I first heard of this concept during my university studies and it has captured my attention ever since.
As a dietitian and nutritionist I am not only interested in what is considered nutritious food, but also where my food comes from.
The movement is simply explained by its founder and president, Carlo Petrini as “uniting both the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature”. Established in 1989 as a non-profit member-supported association Slow Food was founded in response to the rise of fast food and its associated lifestyle. Many of us can agree that in today’s society there is a disappearance of local food traditions, rise of supermarket giants and a decreased interest in what we eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and the impact of our food choices on a global scale. The Slow Food website http://www.slowfood.com/ talks about many global initiatives and how everyday people throughout the world are making a difference.
There are many ways that we can be more connected to our food supply and the food we eat.
- Sit down for each meal and take time to enjoy and be aware of the taste, texture and colour of the food you are eating
- Switch off television while eating
- Visit your local fresh food/farmers markets where you can buy fresh produce from local producers. These markets are also a great way to learn about what other seasonal produce there is that you may not come across in your supermarket.
- Grow your own herbs in a pot (saves many $$$)
- Plant a vegetable garden or fruit tree
- Opt for organic produce where possible
- Compost food scraps
- Experiment with different cuisines
- Take time to learn about different ingredients that you do not routinely use in cooking
To add another layer to this movement I believe we should reconnect with food on a level that is not just about the calorie, carbohydrate and fat content that seems to be ever entrenched in the mind of today’s dieter. For millennia food has been used for more than sustenance. We use food in times of celebration, comfort and joy. With a balanced, non-restrictive attitude towards eating, food can be used in a way that is both nutritious and pleasurable.