The founding father of the Slow Food Movement, Carlo Petrini, recognized in 1986 that the industrialization of food was standardizing taste and leading to the annihilation of thousands of food varieties and flavors. Concerned that the world was quickly reaching a point of no return, he wanted to reach out to consumers and demonstrate to them that they have choices over fast food and supermarket homogenization. He rallied his friends and began to speak out at every available opportunity and soon the movement was born and Slow Food was created. Today the organization is active in 50 countries and has a worldwide membership of over 80,000.
People have responded to the growing movement, because they have become tired of buying the same things, eating the same foods and living the same lives. With these interests in mind, Slow Food’s mission is to create a robust, active movement that protects taste, culture and the environment as universal social values.
Slow Food International
The Italian association was founded in 1986 and its birth was celebrated in Barolo in the Langhe district in the province of Cuneo. The International Movement was founded in Paris in 1989. The International organization now has over 80,000 members on five continents. There is a large Slow Food USA membership, with 12,000 people sharing in the movement countrywide, and Slow Food Canada’s membership is growing at a steady clip.
Slow Food’s International Office, situated in Bra (Cuneo), a small town in southern Piedmont, employs over 100 people. They are the hub of a close-knit network of grassroots offices in Italy and abroad, which promote the movement by staging programs and events.
Slow Food Editore
Slow Food also runs a publishing company, Slow Food Editore, which specializes in tourism, food and wine. The central theme of all Slow Food publications is the vital relationship between ecology and gastronomy – neither of which can exist without the other. Our library now contains about 40 titles and houses Slow, our award-winning quarterly herald of taste and culture, available in five languages: Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.
Slow Food Edmonton
Slow Food Edmonton is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of Edmonton and Northern Alberta. From animal breeds and heirloom varieties of seeds, 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 Edmonton believes that our food heritage can be saved.
Slow Food Edmonton believes that pleasure and quality in everyday life can be achieved by slowing down, respecting the convivial traditions of the table and celebrating the diversity of the earth’s bounty. Our goal is to put the carriers of this heritage on center stage and educate our membership on the importance of these principles. We hope you will join us.
Slow Food Edmonton’s “The Makings of a Fine Future” – Our BIG Ideas
Members present at the May 29, 2011 general meeting of Slow Food Edmonton moved that the convivium develop a “strategic plan” to give scope and purpose to its various efforts and events.
On Saturday, September 10, 2011, eighteen members, including several of our executive, participated in a full day event facilitated by convivium member and professional facilitator, Katharine Weinmann. Conversation, personal reflection, story telling, and writing, resulted in the following BIG ideas that will guide our efforts for the next few years, to be revisited annually at our Annual General Meeting:
- Accessibility and Affordability of programs, services, memberships, in response to community demographics, current and emerging economics
- Advocacy and Social Responsibility- relative to Slow Food principles
- Ark of Taste – identification and preservation of our local heritage foods
- Dialogue and Communication – among members, within the community, across conviviums
- Edmonton Focus – importance of our local perspective, people, politics
- Farm Focus – support for our local producers
- Power of Our Stories – to build community, educate, illuminate assumptions, dispel myths, document our development
- Skill Building via “How To” Instructional and Educational Events
If you’ve questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
As a member, there are many ways to get involved and be heard. Slow Food Edmonton will be your point of contact – joining you to a larger international movement of people dedicated to protecting taste, culture and the environment as universal social values. You will have an opportunity to participate in all our programs and attend all local, national and international events. Here is a sampling of member benefits:
- Discounts on all local Slow Food Edmonton Events (see some of our recent events)
- A personal membership card
- Four issues of the international magazine, Slow, per year
- The right to attend all events organized by the Slow Food movement around the world
- Discounts on all Slow Food publications and merchandise
When you donate to Slow Food, your funds directly contribute to our movement to change the world. Your helping hand makes an enormous difference, as we reach across cultures, continents and out to new people to educate the world about the Slow life. You are making these programs possible:
- Slow Food in Edmonton Schools
- The Canadian Ark of Taste
- Terra Madre Follow-Up Events
- Other local Slow Food educational events
To Join right now, using our web-based system and a credit card, click here. It only takes a few minutes to join, so please give it a try.