You’ve heard of fast food, (everyone knows McDonalds!) but have you heard of the
slow food movement? Our food systems have grown quicker and easier to support
busy lives and flavour demands, but this has come with costs we aren’t always
aware of. The slow food movement originated in the 1980s and is now supported by
millions all over the world.
The movement was founded by a group of activists, lead by Carlo Petrini, in Italy,
1986. Their initial mission was to defend culinary traditions, good food, local
produce, the knowledge of food origins, and a slower pace of life. It has now adapted
into a global movement that recognises the connection between food, culture,
society, politics, the environment, and people.
The slow food movement rejects the idea of fast food that we aimlessly put in our
mouths. It encourages the preservation of traditional recipes and cooking styles,
organic farming, and eating livestock and produce that is characteristic of your local
area. The art of food is often lost in the busyness of life. Microwave dinners and
takeout lead to absent-minded meals without thought of how the food came to our
plates, or the nutritional value it brings to our bodies. This is not healthy or
Food is a crucial part of culture, and fast food has meant we are losing the rich joy of sharing flavours and experience with our communities.
Good: tasty, flavoursome, and part of the local culture
Clean: respects animals, the environment, and upholds sustainability
Fair: just wages and working conditions for those involved in the food production
Firstly, the slow food movement is amazing for our health. The smell of a meal being
cooked, prepares our digestive system, and makes it easier for our bodies to digest
our food properly and absorb the right nutrients. Additionally, eating slower means
our bodies have a better idea of when we are full. You know those times when you
are so starving, you gulp down your meal, then soon after, develop stomach cramps
and feel ill? This is because your brain takes approximately 20 minutes to register
that your stomach is full. Slowing down, digesting properly, and being conscious of
your food intake, is kind to your body and health.
The environment also benefits from the slow food movement. Eating locally grown
food reduces your ‘food miles’ and carbon emissions. The slow food movement also boycotts food grown with chemicals and pesticides, which are harmful to the
environment and reduce the earth’s ability to replenish itself sustainably. The
movement keeps in time with what the earth offers us, without rushing it and
interrupting natural systems.
Our health and the environment are interwoven in ways we often do not realise, but
the slow food movement helps us understand and enjoy the connection.
It’s understandable that not all of us can spend hours in the kitchen slaving over food preparations. Yet, taking part in the slow food movement does not have to be difficult.
Got any more tips? Let us know in the comments below.