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Thursday, October 13, 2005

How Slow Can You Go?

What a delicious treat. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini. It was billed as an interview but it was more like an elaboration on a manifesto, a manifesto that has been put forth in the book Slow Food: A Case for Taste.

Carlo Petrini is funny, smart, provocative, and passionate in a way that only Italians can be. You may have read some of his writings (such as the aforementioned book) but if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, by all means do. For me it was all the more delectable to enjoy the lecture in Italian but kudos to Corby Kummer (author of The Pleasures of Slow Food) who did an excellent job translating.

Here are some of the points that Petrini touched on during the lecture:

    * Fair pay for farmers, food producers and all those who directly labor to bring food to our table

    * Respect and value for the traditional wisdom of farmers and food producers

    * Dialogue and collaboration between farmers and scientists

    * The importance of "gastronomy" and food that tastes good

    * Valuing quality over cost when it comes to food

    * Eating less meat as a way to minimize our environmental impact

    * Providing better food in institutions known for lousy food--schools, hospitals and prisons

    * Educating the palates of the young so they will appreciate and value good food

    * Ending poverty with better utilization of the food produced

    * Ending subsidies to large food producers and increasing support for small, sustainable producers

    * The value of slowness in all things pleasurable--long live the snail and the tortoise! (the snail is the logo and mascot for the Slow Food movement)

Thanks to Wally of Wally's Food Company a supporter of the Slow Food movement for inviting me to the lecture. For information about joining a local Slow Food convivium, visit the website.

(note: I'm posting this early because I am taking tomorow off)