The response came back two weeks later to my application. I was selected one of 250 delegates from around the world to be part of Slow Food Nations 2017 in Denver. It was honor to represent Southern California. If you’re a die-hard farmers’ market foodie, you’re familiar with the Slow Food organization/movement. But don’t worry if haven’t. Although a worldwide organization, we are still just a small, momentum building movement.
What exactly is Slow Food? Easiest answer is “the exact opposite of fast food”. Slow Food’s principle food tenants are GOOD, CLEAN and FAIR. Food that nourishes the body, is available to all, and produced and retrieved in a way that’s beneficial to the farmer and to the eater.
Slow Food was founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986 in Italy after a demonstration on the intended site of a McDonald’s at the Spanish Steps in Rome. How did this group get their message across? By eating bowls pasta! A fitting gesture that symbolized the vast difference between Italian food traditions and the incoming wave of industrial food.
This festival brought together some of the best minds in the industry including: Food educators, advocates, enthusiasts, and influential guests from all over the world. 305 speakers, 70 exhibitors and 155 individual events. It was an inspiring foodie paradise. Some conference highlights included an interactive Sourdough Starter workshop, keynote address by Carlo Petrini and an inspiring lunch hosted by Alice Waters.
Chef Alice Waters, known for starting the original farm-to-table restaurant Chez Panisse, in Berkley, CA, is one of the most well-known advocates for improving school lunches through The Edible School Yard Project. Waters is on a mission to turn school lunch into an academic program. Brilliant idea that she brought to life during an interactive lunch at the conference. Check out Slow Food when you have the chance. Even better, participate in the movement.