Friday, March 23, 2007

Slow food

I've been vaguely aware of the slow-food movement for awhile now -- I've read an article or two in Vegetarian Times or Natural Health magazines. Although it isn't a vegetarian movement, I think the goals of it are very compatible with a vegetarian lifestyle. The slow food movement encourages us to take it easier when it comes to eating, to really take the time to sit down and enjoy locally grown food, instead of shoveling in homogenized fast food and grocery-store convenience items.

According to the Slow Food U.S.A. Web site, it is "dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America. From the spice of Cajun cooking to the purity of the organic movement; from animal breeds and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables to handcrafted wine and beer, farmhouse cheeses and other artisanal products; these foods are a part of our cultural identity. They reflect generations of commitment to the land and devotion to the processes that yield the greatest achievements in taste. These foods, and the communities that produce and depend on them, are constantly at risk of succumbing to the effects of the fast life, which manifests itself through the industrialization and standardization of our food supply and degradation of our farmland. By reviving the pleasures of the table, and using our tastebuds as our guides, Slow Food U.S.A. believes that our food heritage can be saved."

I recently found out that there's a local slow-food group, Slow Food Piedmont Triad. Unfortunately we just missed the group's Winston-Salem showing of the film "The Slow Food Revolution," but there are several events in the near future -- check out their Web site! They also provide a handy list of local farms, markets and restaurants.

I'm certainly better than I used to be in terms of fast-food eating. In my early post-college days, I always had a freezer of cheap frozen pizzas and ate at Wendy's or McDonald's regularly. Now I have a greater appreciation of the ingredients I use to cook with. However, I still too often eat dinner in front of the TV set, with my focus on it instead of the food.

What about you? Have you found that eating vegetarian has caused you to eat "slower"?

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