The Slow Food movement has its origins in the 1980s in Italy. When McDonald’s planned to build an franchise outlet near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome in 1986, Carlo Petrini organised a demonstration in which he and his followers brandished bowls of penne as weapons of protest. Their demonstration was successful and soon after, Carlo founded the International Slow Food Movement which runs counter to the fast food, fast life, non-sustainable food production and the eroding of local economies.
The time was right for this movement and by the 1990s Slow Food had grown hugely and was becoming politically active, lobbying the EU on trade and agricultural policy and working to save endangered foods.
Slow Food is an idea and a belief, the idea is that by celebrating the magnificent foods that are under threat from standardisation, bureaucratic hygienism, and commercialisation, we can ensure that these products continue to be made and, having the future of these foods guaranteed, we are then able to continue enjoying them.
Slow Food envisions a new agricultural system that respects local cultural identities, the earth’s resources, sustainable animal husbandry, and the health of individual consumers. One of the key tenets of Slow Food is the belief in the right to pleasure. The Slow Food Manifesto declares that:
A firm defence of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life
An important component of the Slow Food Movement is the commitment to educate children about the origins and taste of food – to help them to have a connection to the food they eat. It aims to help children develop their senses and their appreciation of food and the pleasure of eating as a gastronomic and social event.