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What is Slow Food?. The philosophy and practice of Slow Food Slow life Locating Slow in the literature on consumption, on social movements and on identity Comparing slow and organic. Slow Food: origins beliefs practices.

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what is slow food
What is Slow Food?
  • The philosophy and practice of Slow Food
  • Slow life
  • Locating Slow in the literature on consumption, on social movements and on identity
  • Comparing slow and organic
slow food origins beliefs practices
Slow Food: origins beliefs practices
  • 1986: Carlos Petrini and that Spanish Arches vs Golden Arches moment....
italy 1986
Italy 1986
  • A small but dedicated group of food writers, chefs, foodies etc got together and joked about opposing fast food with Sloooow Food....and so a movement was 'born' (or, in sociological terms, a tendency got a visible manifestation)
paris 1989 in defense of pleasure
'May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.'

'Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.'

'In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.'

Paris 1989: In Defense of Pleasure
  • 'Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.'
  • 'We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.'
  • 'To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction'.
key emergent themes from the manifesto
Pleasure, slow long-lasting enjoyment

The Table...flavoursome regional cooking,

And slow food

Key emergent themes from the manifesto:
  • Mechanised lives
  • Speed
  • Lifestyle, environment, landscapes all threatened by
  • Fast Food ,which is opposed to
from 1989 to the present key themes


overly bureaucratically regulated and hygenised food

No space for food culture

From 1989 to the present:Key themes:
  • Protecting and promoting rare, endangered foods
  • Small scale artisan production
  • Regional specialities
  • Environmental soundness
  • biodiversity
how does slow food promote it s ideas
How does Slow Food promote it's ideas?
  • 83,000 worldwide members in over 800 Convivia, in dozens of countries in 5 continents
  • Practical work like the Arc of Taste
  • And the Presidias, awards, publications, events, and a gastronomic university
convivia erne garavogue
Convivia: Erne-Garavogue
  • Meals in places that specialise in local, seasonal, artisan, organic food (e.g. McNeans, Atrium and here)
  • Forages – seashore and forest – wild food is uber organic!
  • Food Conference (Bia)
  • Films screenings: Slow Food Revolution, The Future of Food
  • Wine and Cheese tastings – Irish raw milk cheeses, organic farmhouse cheeses, wines from family run French vineyards with ppl from Bordeaux
the arc of taste
The Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, catalog, describe and publicize forgotten flavors. It is a metaphorical recipient of excellent gastronomic products that are threatened by industrial standardization, hygiene laws, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage.Ark products range from the Italian Valchiavenna goat to the American Navajo-Churro sheep, from the last indigenous Irish cattle breed, the Kerry, to a unique variety of Greek fava beans grown only on the island of Santorini. All are endangered products that have real economic viability and commercial potential.The Arc of Taste:
the arc of taste criteria
Products must be linked environmentally, socio-economically and historically to a specific area.

Products must be produced in limited quantities, by farms or by small-scale processing companies.

Products must be threatened with either real or potential extinction

The Arc of Taste: criteria
  • Products must be of outstanding quality in terms of taste. ‘Taste quality’, in this context, is defined in the context of local traditions and uses
  • The product must be linked to the memory and identity of a group, and can be a vegetable species, variety, ecotype or animal population that is well acclimatized over a medium-long period in a specific territory
e g andean corn
E.g.Andean Corn
  • Andean Corn: small scale, biodiversity-friendly mixed cropping, family farms and hand harvesting...
  • Slow Food has catalogued, invested in tools, rediscovered recipes, and promoted 3 trad varieties, so now for local restaurants use them
  • Presidia foods are (usually) from the Arc, and are helped along to a greater extent
  • Promotion, education, communication, training, advice etc etc (from consumers producers and those in between)
  • In Ireland, Wild Salmon and Raw Milk Cheese
other slow food work
Other slow food work
  • Publication of quarterly local and international magazines, staging of events like Salone del gusto and Terra Madre, establishing of a Gastronomic University (And a diploma course in UCC!)
terra madre
Terra Madre
  • A gathering of the tribes, of 1208 food communities from 120 countries.
  • Translated into 9 languages, 61 themed workshops on organic and slow, farmers markets, WTO etc etc
  • The Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biodiversity came into being in 2000 to spotlight activities of research, production, marketing, popularization and documentation which benefit biodiversity (e.g. Across from Burkina Faso villages union)
  • 500 person jury picks people annually
  • They get a cash prize (3,500) for their work, and promotion through the Slow Food Network
  • Special jury wards for extra special nominees, who get more (e.g. Winoa LaDuke from the Bear Clan, white earth reservation USA)
what they did to get the awards
What they did to get the awards:
  • UNGVT: Established village co-op movement in one of the worlds' poorest countries; from one co-op in one village to cereal banks, eco-anti desertification measures, and a union spread out across 39 village groups involving 30,000 people
the white earth land recovery project welrp
The White Earth Land Recovery Project – WELRP
  • For undertaking legal action to recover a significant part of the land belonging to the White Earth Reserve, confiscated by the government during the 1980s
  • For the campaign conducted against the spread of 'improved' varieties of wild rice, at the expense of the native variety manoomin, which has always been the main sustenance for the White Earth natives.
  • For the creation of Native Harvest, a catalogue of food produced and packed on the reserve, which has allowed the native Indians to sell their food at a fair price
gastronomic university
Gastronomic University
  • Degree and masterslevel qualifications in gastronomic studies .Broad based education, from humanities to and catering to marketing and food production
beyond food slow planet
Beyond Food - slow planet?
  • Honone outlines a worldwide movement dedicated to slowing down as does
slow world
Slow World
  • This special edition of the New Internationalist magazine (issue 343 march 2002)
  • Both feature ....
slow world31
Slow World
  • Slow Food
  • Slow Cities
  • Adbusters
  • Long now foundation
  • Society for the deceleration of time
  • Shorter working week campaign
here are some
Here are some:
  • Slow Cities sprung from slow food – 'people centred' cities with a slow food type philosophy extended to include, for e.g. extra pedestrian areas, cycle lanes, more recycling, no car alarms, no neon or 'things that disturb the peace'.
  • Charter has to be adopted
  • 32 cities in Italy, more worldwide
other examples
Other examples
  • The long now foundation (simply look at the whole long life of the planet and cosmos. Not just today)
  • Shorter working week is as it suggests (we used to send our kids to work in coalmines 80 hrs a week, the working week has been shortening and that should continue)
  • Tantric Sex, Sending children to school (but especially Steiner and Educate Together schools), superslow exercise, yoga,holistic medicine,reclaim the streets,
  • What about the leisure industry and goofing off in work?
back to slow food the slow critique of organic
Cost and associated scale of being certified organic

Disconnection with your locality (certified manure)

Slow leaves space for an ecologically orientated quality mark for those who don't get/want organic certificate

Back to Slow Food: the slow critique of organic
  • Agri-industrial and retail penetration and eventually control leading to the watering down of standards.
  • Esp prominent in the US: e.g. 507 new food contact chemicals allowed in the US, thanks to the Organic Trade Association
sociologically giddens and beck
Sociologically: Giddens and Beck
  • The self is a reflexive project. We use a plurality of experts to build our self-image and worldview, because we don't trust the established scientific, industrial block of knowledge. They have created the massive problems they now try to solve
  • Dionysian neo-tribalism (Maffesoli)
  • Life is an orgy. We engage in collective pleasure pursuits, the 'wasting 'of time' in the pursuit of enjoyment on beaches, in pubs, at festivals...life is not isolated and lonely, though the contact with others is fleeting
  • Collective eating can fit in here, but just add...
  • Collective reflexivity, a sort of reflexive self operating in tandem with others
  • Manifest in organic and slow food movements, in various locations, using networks, symbols, rituals, routines, stories, ppl objects to solidify worldviews
  • Visible and latent expressions
  • Dual logic (slow and organic – as organic gets regulated, slow carries the message?)
slorganic future
Slorganic future?
  • Can ppl be slow and organic?
  • Is the 'Organic and Green Guide to Ireland' in fact a Slow guide to organics in Ireland?
  • Is the organic ethos more in tune with slow ideas on local, artisan, small scale production? Was the split in 1991 partly caused by this reality?
  • Is Slow an under-regulated, anything goes sort of philosophy that means everything and nothing at the same time?
  • Taking its context into account, is this a strength or a weakness?