All photos in this blog post taken by Sonia Marwick.
Have you ever even heard of Slow Food?
Slow Food is a movement that Bryan and I really get behind. It’s a movement towards food (and a food system) that is Good, Clean, and Fair.
These 3 simple words (good, clean, and fair) will mean different things to different people.
To me, good food is nourishing, beautiful, flavourful, and thoroughly enjoyed.
To me, clean food is grown and distributed and prepared in ways that respect and honour the people who will eat the food as well as honouring the beings (human and non) whose community (including air, soil, water, and habitat) and life was affected by the growing/distribution/preparation of that food.
To me, fair food means that eaters truly value what it took for them to be able to eat this food. This translates directly to our personal career as farmers…that farmers (and fisherfolk and foragers) should be respected and valued. As well as all farm workers along the chain of production. And then taking it down the line, to the food distributers, to the food processors, to the restaurant employees (including the fast food restaurant employees), and grocery store employees. Fair food means asking the questions, Are people paid a fair and liveable wage? Are people treated fairly when they’re sick and shouldn’t be working? Are people worked to the bone, are they always stressed out? Is that industry known for its mental health issues and its suicides? How can we make a positive change when choosing the food we buy?
To really be mindful of as much of the whole picture of the food each person eats is what slow food is about for me. And knowing that your knowledge and mindfulness can only develop further. None of us can see the whole picture behind everything we eat right now. But it’s fun and empowering to keep learning!
And then to really savour, appreciate, and adore every bite we take! For me, at this time in my life, this is Slow Food.
Slow Food is a movement that has been gaining ground since the late 80s. It all started in Italy when people there were getting riled up by food system issues….including the growing presence of fast food restaurants in their country, so renowned around the world for their food culture.
Their aim: “To counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how food choices affect the rest of the world.”
Instead of just saying what they didn’t want, they said, here is what we DO want.
Recently, we attended a potluck of our local Slow Food Chapter (Slow Food Northumberland Shore). It was my kind of party. It happened in the middle of the day (which we love since we’re early to bed, early to rise kind of people) and everyone brought delicious food…..food that was, to them, Good, Clean, and Fair. It was awesome to sit around together at the beautiful property of Bay Entreprises (who sustainably raise Malagash oysters), right on the Malagash Bay and know that anyone I talked to was going to have a lot of the same food priorities as me and we could start our friendship with that in common. The picture at the top of this post, of the salad topped with many edible flowers was the dish we brought.
I mentioned the potluck was at Bay Entreprises….and we were treated to the most delicious oysters! They’ve been farming Malagash, Tata and Tatamagouche Bay oysters and quahogs since 1899!!!
It was a wonderful lunch with great conversations and a presentation from the NS Slow Food youth representative to We Feed the Planet in Milan last fall.
Slow Food Nova Scotia exists to honour the tradition of experiencing the taste of local food in a social and convivial atmosphere through excursions to farms, special dinners, tastings and public projects.
So, members get together at their local Slow Food events, but globally Slow Foodies also get together, every 2 years at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Italy. And this year, I’ve been selected as a Canadian delegate! It’s been a dream of mine for a long time and I finally get to go this September. I’ll definitely write up lessons learned and take lots of pictures to share on the blog.
And the Slow Food Youth Canada facebook page.