A Global Community
Slow Food International began in Italy in 1989 to help protect regional foods and styles of cooking that were rapidly being overwhelmed by the culture of fast food. The Slow Food organization, which celebrates a food culture of tradition, diversity and respect for the environment, now has 80,000 members from 50 countries, including farmers, chefs and many other food lovers.
Closer to home, local chapters of Slow Food USA hold frequent events across the United States, meeting (and eating) at farms, restaurants and everywhere in between. The Slow Food USA Web site includes contact information to help people find local groups, which are active in most major cities across the country.
Rediscovering Favorite Foods
Ready to reconnect with some holiday traditions? Here are a few ideas to try.
- Regional apple varieties. Far beyond 'Red Delicious' vs. 'Granny Smith,' there are thousands of named apple varieties with delicious and unique flavors. Most of these apples don't hold up under shipping and long storage, so you'll enjoy the sweetest flavors if you find an orchard close to home.
- Rare turkey breeds. Many now rare breeds were once our traditional Thanksgiving turkeys, including 'Standard Bronze,' 'Narragansett' and 'Bourbon Red.' These birds are well suited to be raised in free-range conditions, and produce lean, flavorful meat.
- Real wild rice from the Great Lakes region. This is the only grain native to North America and is an important part of the culture of local Native American communities. It is still harvested in the traditional way, by canoe, by the Anishinaabeg people.
You can learn more about these foods at www.slowfoodusa.org, or try www.localharvest.org, to find local farmers and farmer's markets.
Megan E. Phelps is a freelance writer based in Kansas. She enjoys reading and writing about all things related to sustainable living including homesteading skills, green building and renewable energy. You can find her on Google+.