The Slow Food Movement officially began in 1989 in Paris, France, and has since grown internationally at an amazing pace.  There are now 100,000 members and 1,000 chapters worldwide. 

The name "slow food" comes from the idea that the technology in our world today has increased the pace of life and has taken away our appreciation of pleasure.  Carlo Petrini talks in his books about the way pleasure is seen in society as synonymous with excess, and is not seen as an honorable endeavor.  However, he argues that pleasure is just as important for the human soul as is hard work and duty to one's family.  Taking ideas that have been seen in the past as hedonistic, Carlo Petrini has shown the world that responsibility can be applied to pleasure and that this is the ideal way of living.

Goals of The Slow Food Movement:

1. To maintain the rich diversity of plant species available for consumption.  In order to do this, Slow Food advocates for the support of local food production and the avoidance of GMO foods and environmentally misplaced food species.

2. To educate people about food.  Slow Food wants people to understand where their food comes from, the work it takes to bring that food to their kitchens, and how that food comes to be edible whether it is cooked in a certain way or prepared that way by a company.  At the root of this goal is to connect people with the earth they live on and to build in them a deep love for their environment, which should naturally develop a great desire to protect that environment.

3. To connect those who produce food and those who consume food.  This goal connects to the second goal because it is a part of the education of where one's food comes from.  When people realize where their food comes from and that the food is connected to an individual with a face and a personality, the experience of eating that food becomes much more personal and easy to understand.  Interactions between producers and consumers allow producers to explain the benefits of eating locally, and the consumers to question who produces the food they buy from big-name, non-local sources.

Beliefs of The Slow Food Movement:

1.  Food should taste good.  To Slow Food, this means it is fresh and local.

2.  Food production should be environmentally friendly.  This generally means that factory farms and wasteful farming techniques are out.  Slow Food advocates only for food that is produced in a conscious manner.

3.  Food production should be operated by workers who are fairly paid for their work.  Slow Food does not support food that is produced by worker exploitation.

4.  Consumers affect the production of food as much as food producers do.  By supporting eco-friendly, fair, and tasty local food sources, we can control how food in produced in the future.

(This information was gathered from the Slow Food International website.)

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