Slow Food Movement Moves Into San Francisco
This weekend, the slow food gospel will wind its way through San Francisco's streets mixing two city favorites, social justice and local eats. An event expected to draw 50,000 people, Slow Food Nation will speak to more than just those seeking a taste of great local cheese or a nugget of mind blowing chocolate. The Slow Food movement is about connecting us to our plates. It asks us to think about where our food is grown, who picks it, what resources it uses and what food system structures it is subject to.
Slow Food Nation will bring local, eco-friendly, mindfully made and fairly picked foods to engage San Francisco in the politics of eating.. Berkeley-based Slow Food Nation founder Alice Waters said at a recent talk at the city's Commonwealth Club:
"When we eat fast food, we are eating the values of that fast food. And its telling us that food should be cheap. And its telling us that advertising confers value, and that standardization is more important than quality, and that kitchen work is drudgery. This is what is being said. We're eating those ideas, those values. So we have to come to Slow Food values, and we have to understand that food is something very precious, not something that [comes] after the Nike shoes, the cell phones and the cars and whatever else we decide we're going to spend our money on. It should be way up there [in our values]. And we either pay up front, or we pay [later]."
See how Slow Food Nation is bringing West Coasters back in touch with their plates below the fold.
Slow Food Nation Events
Slow Food Nation will host a variety of events. A Taste Pavilion, an architectural work of slow design, will feature artisan cheeses, delectable olive oil, fairly picked foods and even native foods served in a Native woven tule hut made from California grasses. The pavilion will also feature food workshops and cooking demos.
Closer to the city's center there will be lectures, and tours of the Victory Garden, a section in front of City Hall that has been converted into a huge edible garden. The Victory Garden has been producing about a hundred pounds of fresh food a week, a bounty then delivered to local food banks. A Soap Box will provide a space for farmers, food producers and other "intellectuals of the Earth" as Slow Food dubs them, to speak about food issues to a local audience. There will also be hikes, art exhibits, farm tours, films, slow street food, and even a concert.
At the end of the event, Waters and other Slow Food leaders plan to deliver a political demand to Congress asking for a revolution of the current food systems. Maybe other festival goers, converted one stomach at a time, will join them in the march for change.