Slow Food was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. At its heart the movement aims to promote local foods and traditional gastronomy and food production. Conversely this means an opposition to fast food, industrial food production and globalisation.
Amorelle Dempster from Slow Food Australia will be speaking about the slow food movement at the 2016 Future of Local Food Conference on September 8th & 9th.
Slow Food envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.
Their approach is based on a concept of food that is defined by three interconnected principles: good, clean and fair.
- GOOD: quality, flavorsome and healthy food
- CLEAN: production that does not harm the environment
- FAIR: accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for producers
It’s really all we could want from food isn’t it?
Good, Clean and Fair: The Slow Food Manifesto for Quality
The food production and consumption systems most common today are harmful to the earth, to its ecosystems and to the peoples that inhabit it.
Taste, biodiversity, the health of humans and animals, well-being and nature are coming under continuous attack. This jeopardizes the very urge to eat and produce food as gastronomes and exercise the right to pleasure without harming the existence of others or the environmental equilibria of the planet we live on.
If, as the farmer poet Wendell Berry says, eating is an agricultural act, it follows that producing food must be considered a gastronomic act.
The consumer orients the market and production with his or her choices and, growing aware of these processes, he or she assumes a new role. Consumption becomes part of the productive act and the consumer thus becomes a co-producer.
The producer plays a key role in this process, working to achieve quality, making his or her experience available and welcoming the knowledge and knowhow of others.
The effort must be a common one and must be made in the same aware, shared and interdisciplinary spirit as the science of gastronomy. Each of us is called upon to practice and disseminate a new, more precise and, at the same time, broader concept of food quality based on three basic, interconnected prerequisites. Quality food must be:
- Good. A food”s flavor and aroma, recognizable to educated, well- trained senses, is the fruit of the competence of the producer and of choice of raw materials and production methods, which should in no way alter its naturalness.
- Clean. The environment has to be respected and sustainable practices of farming, animal husbandry, processing, marketing and consumption should be taken into serious consideration. Every stage in the agro-industrial production chain, consumption included, should protect ecosystems and biodiversity, safeguarding the health of the consumer and the producer.
- Fair. Social justice should be pursued through the creation of conditions of labor respectful of man and his rights and capable of generating adequate rewards; through the pursuit of balanced global economies; through the practice of sympathy and solidarity; through respect for cultural diversities and traditions.
Good, Clean and Fair quality is a pledge for a better future.
Good, Clean and Fair quality is an act of civilization and a tool to improve the food system as it is today. Everyone can contribute to Good, Clean and Fair quality through their choices and individual behavior.
Image credit: http://slowfoodperth.org.au