Slow Food USA has announced the launch of Stories from a Slow Food Nation, a new online project and collection of videos, audio files, art and written accounts of individuals sharing their food traditions through the art of story telling. The project was created to document and promote the rich diversity of food cultures in the United States, and to inspire celebration of them in the face an increasingly homogenized food system. The project was launched today in honor of Terra Madre Day, held earlier this month, an annual day of celebration in which Slow Food supporters around the world honor their local food cultures and communities. “Too often fast food takes center stage in the United States, pushing other beautiful food cultures and traditions aside,” said Katherine Deumling, Board Chair of Slow Food USA. “The Stories project will provide a platform for people to document and share their individual food traditions, and hopefully, the collection will inspire us all to promote and preserve the vast diversity of our food cultures.” “When we assess the value of food in our communities, so much of what we study is about statistics and quantitative analysis, but it’s the stories – the oral tradition – that hold the keys to the cultural traditions fading in the modern world,” said Robert Hamilton, who grows rare fruit trees at his home in Atlanta and who is featured in the project. “Sharing stories inspires greater awareness of the many connections that food brings into our lives,” said Cheryl Brock of Portland, Oregon, who produced several videos for the launch of the project. “The Stories project serves as an important reflection of our collective values – whether a story with deep cultural and family roots, a new tradition recently started, or a one-time experience that will forever be included in our memories.” Anyone may submit a story to be considered for inclusion in the project. For more information, visit the Stories from a Slow Food Nation website, at www.slowfoodusa.org/storyproject. People may submit stories about their food traditions and cultures in a variety of formats, including video, audio, written word with photographs and original art.