Living “slow” in our times seems to make no sense. Media try to convince us, that we should live fast, multitask and in 24 h fit million of things. What is Slow Food? And why right now with #socialdistance we are kind of forced to slow down. How can we apply the arguments of this movement to our daily life?
To live fast is to take advantage of our talents, time and opportunities. But we can get confused. Speeding through each day can be synonymous with consumerism, materialism and a misunderstood globalization, where money becomes not a mean, but an ultimate goal. The Slow Food movement, created in Italy in 1986, tells us: “stop, breathe, enjoy the world and life.”
Slow Food movement
When culinary critic Carlo Petrini saw a new branch of McDonald’s in the historic center of Rome, he was furious. He knew that fast food is not healthy, nor especially tasty, but above all, absolutely global and uniform: without the local flavor. That was the beginning of the movement.
Today Slow Food is present in 50 countries and develops several activities: education on risks of fast food, processed or genetically modified foods and, on the other hand, highlights biodiversity and healthy life, organizes festivals of indigenous gastronomy and creates seed banks, with different species and plants to maintain our culinary heritage for the next generations. Slow Food underlines the importance of ecology, ecosystem, and biodiversity, opposing monocultures, pesticides, and genetically modified products GMO.
Diversity is beautiful
Do we truly want all over the world the same food? Like people going to Asia and looking for coffee shops to find the same soya latte with a blueberry muffin. Are you kidding me? Go and enjoy one of the thousands of Asian teas and some local sweets or fruits, whatever but open your mind for new flavors.
The diversity of food enhances aspects such as tradition, origin, and heritage. It is the antithesis of the style of fast-food chains, which seduce the new generations with their standardized offer. As in a painting, we need all the flavors and colors possible to express the beauty of things.
That’s why Slow Food also rescues local ingredients and recipes. Each country, and even each region, has unique emblems that are at risk of being forgotten. In Chile, for example, they are the blue eggs of the Araucanía or the white strawberries of Purén. These unique products, which also involve a tradition of centennial cultivation, not only represent a healthy and local food, but also a heritage for all humanity.
The power of homemade
“Eating” has so many meanings, but “good eating” only points to one direction. It is nutrition and celebration. Slow Food says that everything starts on our plate. We have to think and choose well, before making the purchase decision.
When you are cooking at home, comes another set of questions: do pre-prepared dishes and reheated in microwave ovens have a nutritive value? To continue to cook it in harmful Teflon and storage in plastic, or choose the iron cast, clay, and glass?
Slow Food not only means eating healthy but living in a healthy and balanced way, respecting nature and to the best of our ability, growing some of our food, such as tomatoes, lettuces or even herbs on the terraces of our apartments.
Wine is also considered as agricultural food. That is why it should be elaborated sustainably. Not all the vineyards can be certified organic or biodynamic, but they can take important steps. Even large wineries can worry about tradition and the ecosystem, and sustainably managing their crops.
Some Slow Food tips for DIY Healthy Life
- Think about what you are buying. Do you need it? Is healthy? How you will prepare it?
- It is a fresh ingredient or processed product with a short expiration date?
- It is as nature made it or full of dyes, preservatives, salt or sugar, etc.?
- It is local or imported? TCM ( Traditional Chinese Medicine) underlines that for example tropical fruits are designed by nature to cool down the temperature of the body in the tropical climate, and if you do not live there they will make more harm than deliver you the vitamins, but the transport of it from to other countries and its carbon footprint makes a huge impact of our ecosystem.
- Take your time and cook with patience and heart.
- Serve just enough, don’t overeat.
- Don’t waste food. Take advantage of every single part of a product. Even the last leaf of lettuce can be converted into the compost for the plants.
- Eat calmly, without television, without emails, without chatting with the cell phone.
- Use all our senses, enjoy food. Eat to the rhythm of a snail – the official isotype of this movement – enjoying every bite as if it were the last. And by the way, ayurvedic practitioners recommend chewing each bite of food 30-50 times so that you begin to break down the food in the mouth before it travels the rest of the digestive tract.
- Just have fun with food and cooking. Eating with good vibes definitely will boost your immune system.