Slow Food Movement History
Where better for an organization called the Slow Food movement to start than in Italy?
Italy is a country that truly appreciates the benefits of making a meal an event to be shared with family and friends. A meal in Italy is lingered over whether it is served at home or in a restaurant. You will never feel rushed to finish up and leave in a crowded Italian restaurant.
Carlo Petrini started the slow food movement in response to the opening of a McDonalds in Piazza Spagna in Rome in 1986. A fast food restaurant opening in the heart of Rome’s historic center was not something to be taken lightly. Rather than protest, Carlo Petrini chose to show that there is a better way – he started the slow food movement.
The slow food movement is headquartered in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. This is the land of fresh pesto sauces, homemade pastas and hearty ragu’s.
Goal of Slow Food Movement
Mr. Petrini’s goal is to demonstrate that we have a choice when it comes to food and wine. We do not have to settle for the bland, salty and generally unhealthy fare of fast food restaurants.
The slow food movement’s mission is to show us that we can take the time to enjoy the pleasures of food and that the enjoyment of wholesome food is essential to the pursuit of happiness. The slow food movement would like to resurrect the kitchen and dinner table as centers of conversation, pleasure, culture and community.
The slow food movement has a goal of stopping the loss of food product diversity. Up to 75% of European food product diversity has been lost since 1900 and over 90% of American food product diversity has been lost in the same time period. Additionally, 33% of livestock varieties have disappeared or are near disappearing. In the last century 30,000 vegetable varieties have become extinct and one more is lost every six hours.
We want to extend the kind of attention that environmentalism has dedicated to the panda and the tiger, to domesticated plants and animals, says Carlo Petrini. A hundred years ago, people ate between one hundred and a hundred and twenty different species of food. Now our diet is made up of at most ten or twelve species.
The slow food movement seeks to preserve a region’s cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds along with domestic animals and farming methods of that region.