The slow food movement has become a social and political movement aimed at challenging us to think about our food choices and to establish a reconnection with local farmers and food artisans by creating a link between producers and consumers.
The slow food movement is also a reaction to the fast food life style. Sharing the grace of a meal should be a gastronomic event that brings pleasure, a sense of family, and a renewal of food traditions. These traditions may be getting lost with the saturation of fast and commercially processed foods that have become part of our daily food culture.
Another aspect of the slow food movement is a commitment to educate children and create a connection to the food they eat. The movement aims to help children develop a sense of the origin of their food, and develop their senses about the pleasures of preparing and eating food.
This past week, I had the opportunity to spend time participating in a slow food event sponsored by Turkey Hill www.localharvest.org/farms/m4181 a local farm located in Tallahassee. This event was made more enjoyable by the fact that my eleven-year old son was willing to indulge his mother in her foodie ways by accompanying her to the event.
These type of events only reaffirm my beliefs that we need to slowdown. I am a product of my daily life. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love to think about food and I understand food. However, most days my commitment to eating locally, and taking the time to prepare a meal that relies on fresh ingredients, are out the window by mid-week. All day, most days, my family is in constant motion. I am a slave to my microwave. Pre-heating the oven to bake a frozen pizza is second nature. A fast food drive through after soccer practice? I am an expert!
I am determined to learn slow down and rely on fresh local foods to nourish my family's stomachs and spirit. When my family sits down to a meal, it is always pleasurable, and I need to do that more often.
I encourage you to GET COOKING!! Pull-out those recipe books! Ask about old family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Think more wisely about the food choices you and your family make each day. Shop locally, whenever possible. Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the farmer's and food artisans in your local community. Check out your local farmer's markets. You will be surprised at the variety and the abundance of what is seasonally available. I would also encourage you to grow a few veggies yourself, and don't hesitate to inquire about your neighbors vegetables, they may be willing to share with you.
If you would like to know more about the slow food movement you can find it at: www.slowfoodusa.org