Lately in school I have been learning a lot about the slow food movement. I think it is so interesting! The movement originated in Italy when many Italians rebelled against a McDonalds going up right next to the Spanish steps. There is a lot behind the group but in basic terms the supporters advocate for good, clean and fair food. Good refers to enjoyment of food. Food should taste great and be savored slowly, enjoying every bite. Clean refers to quality. Food should be local and organic, thus ensuring that it is fresh and free of chemicals. Finally, fair refers to methods of production. Food should be raised or grown by workers who are treated humanely. I agree with all of these ideals. Living in New York City has shown me the pitfalls of living in a fast-food society. For example, it is very hard to buy fruits and vegetables in a grocery store, especially berries. Just last week I bought strawberries and the next day they were already moldy. It wasn’t the grocery store’s fault, it’s that the berries had to travel across the country to get to me. In effect, by the time the fruit reached my plate it was no longer fresh, nor did it taste good. I also find myself among many who, in a rush to get somewhere, grab a meal on the go and eat it while I walk. Yesterday morning on my way to work, I had to stop myself as I raced down the street while chomping on a pre-made, microwaved spinach feta wrap. Was I even enjoying what I ate? Besides that the meal was very low quality, I was completely distracted in my rush and did not even savor the food I was putting into my body. It is ridiculous that I am trying to restrict what I eat in an effort to get healthier, yet I don’t even enjoy what I do eat. This is just plain stupid. If I don’t indulge in the foods I do eat, I will be even more dissatisfied and will most likely end up overeating anyways. I value quality, healthy foods and I, as well as many others in this city, country and world, need to take the time to enjoy the foods we are lucky enough to have access to.
This first short video is surprisingly just an ad for the Mexican “fast food” restaurant, Chipotle. I have to applaud whoever was in charge of this campaign because they did a fantastic job! This little clip puts some of the issues caused by fast food into elementary terms. It’s well done, I love it.
The second video is a TED talk by Dan Barber that relates to the slow food movement. Specifically, Barber talks about Foie Gras and a man who has figured out how to create the delicacy without subjecting ducks to the inhumane treatment of force feeding them in order to expand their livers. The man, named Eduardo, created an environment for his animals that led the ducks to eat more on their own. Eduardo let the ducks have free reign of his land and provided them with unlimited amounts of high quality food, free for grazing. In fact the ducks were so happy on his property, that not only did they stay for the winter instead of migrating to more favorable lands, but other wild ducks and geese migrated to his land and made it their home. Eduardo has a very sustainable operation. His practices are humane, easy on the earth, and produce excellent, high quality Foie Gras.