Only Seven Days Left! Embrace Joy + Justice at Slow Food Nations 2019!
“If you want to change the world, don’t do it with sadness, do it with joy!” – Carlo Petrini
Slow Food USA is ready to embark on their annual celebration of Good Clean and Fair food. For three days, starting on the 19th of July with their Leader Summit, Denver will be sending good vibrations all over the United States. This is the food festival for everyone, where tradition meets innovation, where food is the vector and justice the goal.
The United States of America face deep structural inequalities, where many voices in the food system, among producers and consumers alike, are systematically being marginalized. For the future of all, it is crucial that they be thoroughly heard: That’s why Slow Food USA’s Equity, Inclusion & Justice Working Group (EIJ), have dedicated their organization to advocate these voices and problematize a food system that eventually is bound to fall apart. In today’s western society, food is as ordinary as it is elitist, and by attacking these issues from a holistic and gastronomical point of view they can reach to sources of problems that often end up far down on the to-do-list of a country. EIJ understands the crucial role of good, clean and fair food for social, ecological and economic well-being. As they see it, their country faces a complex system of racial bias’, pollution and diet related health problems that are deeply rooted in its history, culture and institutions. Their method? Embracing food communities, including farming, harvesting, slaughtering, fishing and restaurant service workers: from the ground up, with joy!
At this year’s Slow Food Nations new conversations will pop up, and new relationships will be established. However, you will probably recognize some familiar faces and topics. To mention just two examples, school and community gardens will be discussed by Ron Finley, the gangsta gardener whom both young and old citizens of Los Angeles would describe as a local hero, and there will be Slow Food Turtle Island to show Indigenous lifeways. To use the words of Ron – beauty in, beauty out.
Slow Food Youth Network’s Lauren Nelson ended up back in States after an inspiring experience at University of Gastronomic Sciences and FAO, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Rome. Now she’s one of the young people behind the relaunch of SFYN, happening this year at Slow Food Nations. We asked her for a comment:
“We are overwhelmed with joy to launch (relaunch) the Slow Food Youth Network USA at Slow Food Nations 2019! Our dream is to create a network to empower, promote, and connect young people dedicated to building a good, clean, and fair future of food in North America. We are looking for new leaders to rise up and shape SFYN USA to reflect the changes we wish to see to make our food system truly equitable, accessible, and inclusive – as we grow, we hope to be led by First Nations youth and youth of color, and we hope to pay people for their time. Currently we are still building our leadership board and are welcoming donors to get in touch with us to fund scholarships, stipends, and SFYN USA campaigns and projects. We are so excited to bring more activism, thoughtfulness, and pleasure to the tables and fields of the United States. We crave greater connection – to our histories, to the earth, and to each other – and we believe that food has the power to unite us. SFYN USA is the future face of food in the United States; we cannot wait to show the world.”
This space is gettin’ hot! Cook with fire, and when it’s all over, eat the rest!
Apart from Slow Food Nations’ more political engagements, a large space has been given to enjoy good clean and fair food in a variety of different ways! Local food, innovative food, traditional food, First Nation cuisine, movies, African American foodways and storytelling and podcasting will be some of the highlights of the more than 100 featured events ranging from cooking demonstrations, food tastings, family activities, block parties and talks.
Most events are for free; however, a ticket is needed to enjoy the Block Party Food over Fire on Saturday 20th, where you can sign up to cook with James Beard awarded chef’s, and the zero-waste community dinner on Sunday 21st.
If you want to stick out
There are several opportunities to get your hands dirty on farm visit, and more than 40 restaurants will provide a special menu featuring Slow Food Ark of Taste products, all around the city!
So, if you are around, bring your joy to Denver on the 19th, and get involved for a more just, inclusive and equal future of North American food.