| A slice of still warm bread with fresh creamery butter and homemade Bleinheim apricot jam.
A ripe heirloom tomato sprinkled with sea salt. A piece of cheddar cheese pressed from raw milk
and nurtured to perfect maturity by a master according to age-old traditions. Turkeys that can
actually stand on their own two legs and mate without the help of a veterinarian.
The Navajo churro sheep. True wild rice. All of those are foods that have cultural relevance,
that taste wonderful, and that almost disappeared, driven to near extinction by the forced march
toward ever more standardized agricultural products.
Slow Food is a movement dedicated to promoting
and preserving such foods and the people who produce them. It started in Italy in the late 1980s,
and has grown internationally to several hundred thousand members, over 50,000 in the United States alone.
Slow Food believes that if you are an environmentalist but you are not paying attention to the plight of
family farmers, you are missing a key part of the picture. Conversely, Slow Food also believes that if you
love good food but donít understand the ecological implications of industrial farming, your head is in the
sand. Slow Food groups are organized in chapters, each called a Convivium. Members gather for hands-on
classes, shared meals, and farm visits.