Richard McCarthy embodies the phrase “think globally; act locally.” He joined Slow Food USA opens in a new tab as Executive Director in January 2013, having previously served as Executive Director of Market Umbrella, an internationally recognized non-profit mentor organization for farmers markets, community building and sustainable economic development.
How are you doing this week? The Thanksgiving tryptophan hangover is by now a faded memory. Are the approaching December holidays beginning to induce pangs of dread? Consider December 10 as an escape valve — a day to remember why we live, why we eat and why we cherish each other.
December 10 is Terra Madre Day, a worldwide celebration that, this year, marks the 25th anniversary of the Slow Food Manifesto.
Back in 1989, delegates from 15 countries assembled in Paris, together with Italian thinker, writer and activist Carlo Petrini, to sign the Slow Food Manifesto opens in a new tab, sealing a commitment to defend and celebrate the pleasures of a Slow life:
and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.”
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment
preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food.
Does this call to action resonate with you? If so, consider reaffirming your values, read and sign the Manifesto opens in a new tab.
Active in 160 countries, Slow Food opens in a new tab is the world’s largest food sovereignty organization committed to the balance between joy and justice. Members preserve traditional foods, biodiversity, and importantly move them into circulation via commerce.
In 26 African countries, Slow Food leaders have grown 1,000 gardens that serve as both symbols of resistance to the land grabbing that robs Africans of their gastronomy and symbols of hope for the future of food and community.
In the USA, we are growing community through food. Parents, chefs, farmers, home cooks and eaters together rally around the promise of school gardens to grow the next generation of kids who love good food and run towards it because they grow it, they know it and they crave it. Others rally for better meat or non-meat options at home, in sports stadiums and on restaurant menus.
Wherever the call to action comes to transform our food system, at Slow Food we recognize that it is important to meet people where they are. Navigating food choices can be so intimidating. Change has come when the slow choice is the easy choice.
So, before you get swept up by the consumer excesses of the holiday season… reflect upon the value of handcrafted love. Bake bread, can jam, brew beer, and spend time with family and friends.
Back when the Slow Food Manifesto was penned and signed in 1989, food options were pretty bleak. Fast food seemed unstoppable. Today, there is so much to cherish: an explosion of food trucks, CSAs (community supported agriculture), school gardens, organic certification, farmers markets, meat collectives, the Ark of Taste opens in a new tab, Slow Money opens in a new tab, Good Food Jobs opens in a new tab, the Good Food Awards opens in a new tab, Heritage Radio opens in a new tab, and an growing appetite for farm-to-table foods that warms the soul.
And yet, the march of industrialized food and industrialized life cries out for us to do even more. Let’s keep the revolutionary ideas in the Slow Food Manifesto alive and growing for another 25 years.
Recommit yourself to “oppose the folly of a Fast Life” and sign the Slow Food Manifesto opens in a new tab. And once you’ve signed it, get growing; share the ideas with your friends and family. We can’t do this alone but spooner than ladle, we will win!