There’s hope for citizens of this fast food nation (to borrow a phrase from Eric Schlosser’s book of the same title). It comes in the form of great-tasting food, made locally by artisans, and then shared in convivia by others who value flavor, quality, freshness, and taste over speed.
This is the philosophy behind Slow Food, a consumer operation based in Italy that now boasts more than 60,000 members worldwide. Started by activist Carlo Petrini to protest the establishment of a McDonald’s at the foot of the historic Spanish Steps in Rome, the organization is now becoming widely known in North America.
Chelsea Green, an independent publisher specializing in books for sustainable living, has reached agreement with Slow Food International to become their publishing partner in North America. Slow Food is as much about information as it is about food, says Stephen Morris, publisher. Eating should be one of life’s great pleasures, a rich and textured pastime shared with friends. In our national frenzy for speed and convenience, food has been sanitized and homogenized at the expense of pleasure. The goal of our publishing partnership is to make available information that allows everyone to extract the maximum enjoyment from the process of eating.
A new book, Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food, will be published in September. The book collects the best of SLOW magazine, the organization’s handsome and quirky quarterly publication. A second book, Italian Cheese, will provide food lovers with a guide to the discovery and appreciation of the varied world of artisinal cheesemakers in Italy.
President of Slow Food U.S.A. Patrick Martins says, The concept of ‘slow food’ will be alien to many North Americans at first, but as people learn more about their food heritage, they will come to understand that slow foods are superior alternatives to fast foods. Slow Food isn’t as much about being a gourmet as it is about living well and eating with a mission!
Americans appear to be fast learners. According to Martins, Slow Food U.S.A. now has more than 6,000 members. For information on membership call 212-965-5640.
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