What is Slow Food?
The philosophy and
practice of Slow Food
Slow life
Locating Slow in the
literature on
consumption, on
social movements
and on identity
Comparing slow and
Slow Food: origins beliefs practices
1986: Carlos Petrini
and that Spanish
Arches vs Golden
Arches moment....
Culture vs. fast food
Italy 1986
A small but dedicated
group of food writers,
chefs, foodies etc got
together and joked
about opposing fast
food with Sloooow
Food....and so a
movement was 'born'
(or, in sociological
terms, a tendency got
a visible
Paris 1989: In Defense of Pleasure
'Our century, which began and has
developed under the insignia of
industrial civilization, first invented
the machine and then took it as its life
'We are enslaved by speed 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.'
'To be worthy of the name, Homo
Sapiens should rid himself of speed
before it reduces him to a species in
danger of extinction'.
'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. Let us rediscover the
flavors and savors of regional cooking
and banish the degrading effects of
Fast Food.'
'In the name of productivity, Fast Life
has changed our way of being and
threatens our environment and our
landscapes. So Slow Food is now the
only truly progressive answer.'
Key emergent themes from the
Mechanised lives
landscapes all
threatened by
Fast Food ,which is
opposed to
Pleasure, slow longlasting enjoyment
regional cooking,
And slow food
From 1989 to the present:Key
Protecting and
promoting rare,
endangered foods
Small scale artisan
Regional specialities
regulated and
hygenised food
No space for food
How does Slow Food promote it's
83,000 worldwide
members in over 800
Convivia, in dozens of
countries in 5
Practical work like the
Arc of Taste
And the Presidias,
awards, publications,
events, and a
Convivia: Erne-Garavogue
Meals in places that specialise in
local, seasonal, artisan, organic
food (e.g. McNeans, Atrium and
Forages – seashore and forest –
wild food is uber organic!
Food Conference (Bia)
Films screenings: Slow Food
Revolution, The Future of Food
Wine and Cheese tastings – Irish
raw milk cheeses, organic
farmhouse cheeses, wines from
family run French vineyards with
ppl from Bordeaux
The Forage Cliffony Beach
Other Convivia Worldwide: e.g. Slow
Food cycle Sunday US
Slow Food Cycle Sunday
The Arc of Taste:
The Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, catalog, describe and
publicize forgotten flavors. It is a metaphorical recipient of
excellent gastronomic products that are threatened by
industrial standardization, hygiene laws, the regulations of
large-scale distribution and environmental damage.
Ark products range from the Italian Valchiavenna goat to
the American Navajo-Churro sheep, from the last
indigenous Irish cattle breed, the Kerry, to a unique variety
of Greek fava beans grown only on the island of Santorini.
All are endangered products that have real economic
viability and commercial potential.
The Arc of Taste: criteria
Products must be of
outstanding quality in
terms of taste. ‘Taste
quality’, in this context, is
defined in the context of
local traditions and uses
The product must be linked
to the memory and identity
of a group, and can be a
vegetable species, variety,
ecotype or animal
population that is well
acclimatized over a
medium-long period in a
specific territory
Products must be linked
environmentally, socioeconomically and
historically to a specific
Products must be produced
in limited quantities, by
farms or by small-scale
processing companies.
Products must be
threatened with either real
or potential extinction
E.g.Andean Corn
Andean Corn: small
scale, biodiversityfriendly mixed cropping,
family farms and hand
Slow Food has
catalogued, invested in
tools, rediscovered
recipes, and promoted 3
trad varieties, so now for
local restaurants use
Presidia foods are
(usually) from the Arc,
and are helped along
to a greater extent
Promotion, education,
training, advice etc
etc (from consumers
producers and those
in between)
In Ireland, Wild
Salmon and Raw Milk
Other slow food work
Publication of
quarterly local and
magazines, staging of
events like Salone del
gusto and Terra
Madre, establishing of
a Gastronomic
University (And a
diploma course in
Other publications
Terra Madre
A gathering of the
tribes, of 1208 food
communities from 120
Translated into 9
languages, 61
themed workshops on
organic and slow,
farmers markets,
WTO etc etc
Terra Madre
Terra Madre
Terra Madre
Terra Madre
The Slow Food
Award for the
Defense of
Biodiversity came into
being in 2000 to
spotlight activities of
research, production,
popularization and
documentation which
benefit biodiversity
(e.g. Across from
Burkina Faso villages
500 person jury picks
people annually
They get a cash prize
(3,500) for their work,
and promotion through
the Slow Food Network
Special jury wards for
extra special nominees,
who get more (e.g.
Winoa LaDuke from the
Bear Clan, white earth
reservation USA)
What they did to get the awards:
UNGVT: Established
village co-op
movement in one of
the worlds' poorest
countries; from one
co-op in one village to
cereal banks, eco-anti
measures, and a
union spread out
across 39 village
groups involving
30,000 people
The White Earth Land Recovery
Project – WELRP
For undertaking legal action to
recover a significant part of the
land belonging to the White
Earth Reserve, confiscated by
the government during the 1980s
For the campaign conducted
against the spread of 'improved'
varieties of wild rice, at the
expense of the native variety
manoomin, which has always
been the main sustenance for
the White Earth natives.
For the creation of Native
Harvest, a catalogue of food
produced and packed on the
reserve, which has allowed the
native Indians to sell their food
at a fair price
Gastronomic University
Degree and
qualifications in
gastronomic studies
.Broad based
education, from
humanities to and
catering to marketing
and food production
Beyond Food - slow planet?
Honone outlines a
worldwide movement
dedicated to slowing
down as does
Slow World
This special edition of
the New
magazine (issue 343
march 2002)
Both feature ....
Slow World
Slow Food
Slow Cities
Long now foundation
Society for the
deceleration of time
Shorter working week
Here are some:
Slow Cities sprung from
slow food – 'people
centred' cities with a slow
food type philosophy
extended to include, for
e.g. extra pedestrian
areas, cycle lanes, more
recycling, no car alarms,
no neon or 'things that
disturb the peace'.
Charter has to be adopted
32 cities in Italy, more
Slow Cities
Other examples
The long now foundation (simply
look at the whole long life of the
planet and cosmos. Not just today)
Shorter working week is as it
suggests (we used to send our
kids to work in coalmines 80
hrs a week, the working week
has been shortening and that
should continue)
Tantric Sex, Sending children
to school (but especially
Steiner and Educate Together
schools), superslow exercise,
yoga,holistic medicine,reclaim
the streets,
What about the leisure
industry and goofing off in
Back to Slow Food: the slow critique
of organic
Agri-industrial and
retail penetration and
eventually control
leading to the
watering down of
Esp prominent in the
US: e.g. 507 new
food contact
chemicals allowed in
the US, thanks to the
Organic Trade
Cost and associated
scale of being
certified organic
Disconnection with
your locality (certified
Slow leaves space for
an ecologically
orientated quality
mark for those who
don't get/want organic
Sociologically: Giddens and Beck
The self is a reflexive
project. We use a
plurality of experts to
build our self-image
and worldview,
because we don't
trust the established
scientific, industrial
block of knowledge.
They have created
the massive problems
they now try to solve
Dionysian neo-tribalism
Life is an orgy. We
engage in collective
pleasure pursuits, the
'wasting 'of time' in the
pursuit of enjoyment on
beaches, in pubs, at
festivals...life is not
isolated and lonely,
though the contact with
others is fleeting
Collective eating can fit
in here, but just add...
Collective reflexivity, a sort
of reflexive self operating
in tandem with others
Manifest in organic and
slow food movements, in
various locations, using
networks, symbols, rituals,
routines, stories, ppl
objects to solidify
Visible and latent
Dual logic (slow and
organic – as organic gets
regulated, slow carries the
Slorganic future?
Can ppl be slow and organic?
Is the 'Organic and Green
Guide to Ireland' in fact a Slow
guide to organics in Ireland?
Is the organic ethos more in
tune with slow ideas on local,
artisan, small scale production?
Was the split in 1991 partly
caused by this reality?
Is Slow an under-regulated,
anything goes sort of
philosophy that means
everything and nothing at the
same time?
Taking its context into account,
is this a strength or a

What is Slow Food? - Institute of Technology, Sligo