History of the Slow movement
The Slow movement first began when a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Piazza di Spagna, Rome sparked the creation of the Slow Food Organization, as well as developing into a subculture in various other areas, Slow Travel, Slow Shopping, and Slow Design, just to name a few.
The Slow philosophy
Even in the recent past in the West it was standard to have a day of relaxation because all shops were closed on Sundays. However, the current tendency in many parts of the world to operate at 24 hours a day has disrupted this tradition. Now, because people can do everything all the time, some feel they have to do things all the time. The Slow movement counteracts this by extolling the virtues of the enjoyment and savouring of living. Geir Berthelsen and his creation of The World Institute of Slowness coined the term Slow Travel in 1999 citing a vision for an entire ‘Slow Planet’ and a need to teach the world the way of Slow.
Contrary to assumptions associated with the term “slow”, advocates of the Slow movement stress activity, rather than passivity. The focus, therefore, is on being selective in our activity, and fully appreciating how we spend our time.
The Slow Movement
The Slow movement is not organized and controlled by a singular organization per se. A principal characteristic of the Slow movement is that it is propounded, and its momentum maintained, by individuals that constitute the expanding global community of Slow. Although it has existed in some form since the Industrial Revolution its popularity has grown considerably since the rise of Slow Food and Cittaslow in Europe, with Slow initiatives spreading as far as Australia and Japan.
The Slow Food movement incorporates a series of objectives within its mission, including:
– forming and sustaining seed banks to preserve heirloom varieties in cooperation with local food systems
– developing an “ark of taste” for each ecoregion, where local culinary traditions and foods are celebrated
– preserving and promoting local and traditional food products, along with their lore and preparation
– organizing small-scale processing (including facilities for slaughtering and short run products)
– organizing celebrations of local cuisine within regions (e.g. the Feast of Fields held in some cities in Canada)
– promoting Taste Education
– educating consumers about the risks of fast food
– educating citizens about the drawbacks of commercial agribusiness and factory farms
– educating citizens about the risks of monoculture and reliance on too few genomes or varieties
– developing various political programs to preserve family farms
– Lobbying for the inclusion of organic farming concerns within agricultural policy
– Lobbying against government funding of genetic engineering– Lobbying against the use of pesticides
– Teaching gardening skills to students and prisoners
– Encouraging ethical buying in local marketplaces
Slow Food Victoria
A Taste of Slow has moved from its regular dates of the last couple of years and will take place from 22 Feb to 8 March 2008. The program will include plenty of tantalising food and wine umbrella events across Victoria that are sure to stimulate the mind and the body, running throughout the 2 weeks and culminating in a sensational Slow Food showcase at a city location. The event will feature international speakers, producers from across Australia, bio-dynamic wine tastings, slow food cooking demonstrations and plenty of convivial discussion and debate about the pleasures of the table.