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To Italy and Beyond
While many people do not usually enjoy going slow, an important lesson that everyone can learn from the Italians is that sometimes, taking a breath and making dinner is the perfect way to get rid of life’s stresses. When the fast food market came into play in 1920, there was a lot of push back from European countries, like Italy. Many didn’t want to have a McDonald’s establish its franchise in their borders, even though they did it anyway. So, it does not really come as a surprise when a man from Italy thinks of a grassroots organization like Slow Food. Carlo Petrini, creator of the Slow Food organization, grew up in a little town in Italy called Piedmont. There where many gatherings and festivals that took place there that were related to food in some way. He says that these get togethers and his grandmother’s cooking were the two main reasons that would eventually lead to his love for food. This love would then be transformed into a 20+ year movement.
The premise of the organization is not to necessarily eradicate canned and frozen foods, so much as make them less prevalent. The vision is to have people appreciate where their food comes from, and also to make healthier choices (a problem that has been combatted for the last decade). They hope to do this through organically grown foods that are local and more affordable. Carl Petrini claims that this movement is important to “biodiversity on the planet, but also for our cultural patrimony and sense of identity.” The “planet should have the right and access to good, clean, and fair food”, especially since there is, technically, enough food on the Earth for everyone. (Gelder) This movement has focused it’s energy on great food, but also on eliminating the amount of waste from some countries. By setting it’s sights and focus on both, they think they will be able to help end hunger.
Since its conception, this movement has blossomed into an internationally recognized organization. It spans from the United States, to Africa, and all the way to Asia. It has been very successful in spreading its message of sustainable practices. It has also been a part of world wide expos and involved in fantastic projects like “Eataly” (which is basically a restaurant and/or market for locally sourced, well priced products). For something that started as a place for fellow foodies to gather and talk, it has grown into so much more than anyone ever anticipated, especially Petrini.