On Saturday November 29, The Slow Food Story: Politics & Pleasure, a history of the Slow Food movement by the British writer and politics lecturer Geoff Andrews, was reviewed in The Guardian by Steven Poole.
Convivium is the term for a local chapter of the international slow food movement: a nod to conviviality, and also perhaps a reminder that our word “company” comes from the words for “together” and “bread”. Andrews’s history of slow food is a thoughtful account of how politics came back to eating, from 1970s Italy and California to present-day Ludlow and further afield. The slogan “slow food”, he notes, was born after a 1986 anti-McDonald’s demo in Rome, but the roots stretch further back, at least to the legendary early-70s California restaurant Chez Panisse, where, we are told, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie played in the kitchen. Today slow fooders see eating as “an agricultural act”. Against the charge that it is “elitist” to nag poor people about buying cheap supermarket food, Andrews argues that only slow fooders really care about the growers, and that only such a wide-angle view of food, from field to table, is politically and ecologically respectable. Nodding, I savoured my organic biscuits more carefully than usual.
Geoff Andrews also works closely with the Ludlow-based Slow Food UK (SFUK), encouraging opportunities of collaboration with communities nationwide to revive the British food heritage and promote the Slow Food good, clean and fair philosophy.
The new SFUK website is now up and running www.slowfood.org.uk.
The Slow Food Story: Politics & Pleasure
by Geoff Andrews
Pluto Press, £14.99