I got involved with Slow Food because I strongly believe that the emphasis on fast, cheap, poor quality food has greatly affected our general health and well being.
I will speak to the well being part first, as my passion has always been about exploring different cultures through their food. Someone recently used the description “multicultural tongues” in reference to language, but one might argue that homeland flavours render memories as rich and powerful as one’s native language. Our food, that is the preparation, the way it is served and eaten has always held great fascination for me. Gatherings around food provide safe havens in our fast-paced lives, and bring us back to our family and communal roots. The Slow Food movement isn’t just about the preparation and serving of our family meals….it is about diversity and the preservation of cultural differences and food biodiversity. It is about raising awareness about where our food comes from, how it is grown, by whom, and whether each aspect of food production is ethical and sustainable. It affects farmers, as well as the folks who enjoy the fruits of their labours. In less than 50 years, North American family farms have become all but extinct. The small villages and towns in the mid west in America have become ghost towns, while agribusiness farmers, using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and now GMO crops are maximizing production of food, but the nutritional quality continues to become eroded, as does the health of the soil.
In summary, I got involved in Slow Food Vancouver because I wanted to learn more about how we can support one another to acquire and prepare good food that has been raised in a Good, Clean, and Fair manner. I have met some of the most interesting and passionate people through this organization, and by attending the Terra Madre in Italy I’ve met people from all over the world who share these beliefs and are working hard to preserve their culture and their food rights. People join Slow Food for many reasons, but if there is one language that we all speak and respond to…it is the language of food, which of course is really an expression of love.