I had the opportunity of meeting two active members of the exemplary organisation, Slow Food; and have them tell me about their goals and activities that are taking place both in Florence and internationally. Mr. Londini told us about the origins of Slow Food, founded by italian activist Carlo Petrini back in 1986; acting as a reaction against fast food. Slow Food was created to “protect gastronomy and local food instead of using standardised and industrialised food” (Londini 2014). Mrs. Ferrari told us this is a counter movement to what we know as ‘Macdonalisation”, where food production has been globalised and you can find identical foods all over the world. All over italy each convivia is in charge of bringing people together with an interest in food, not only for the pleasure of eating, but on the “political act of eating” (Petrini).
Slow Food constantly holds events to raise awareness, “we have courses, masters of wine, beer.. mostly teach how food is made, learn the history, theory and practice” (Ferrari 2014).
what activities are being developed with the young generations?
“We have set up vegetable gardens in schools (in italian known as orto in condotta), because now days children don’t know what they eat, where it comes from” (Londini 2014). In Florence there are 10 gardes in primary schools, some of us volunteers go and we work with the teachers to organise the gardens. The kids grow the vegetables, water them. During the school years they are also helped by parents. They are able to see the growth process of vegetables, they write about them, eat and paint them too. They start knowing about the importance of food, instead of just finding packaged food. “Some kids when you ask them where the chicken comes from, they will say from the supermarket. It is important for them to know where food comes from” (Londini & Ferrari 2014).
“We also have the goal of raising money to build 10,000 vegetable gardens in Africa. Every convivium collects money to finance these gardens. This money serves for people to teach local people about how to build a vegetable garden” (Ferrari 2014).
What projects do you hold for the future?
We are now mapping producers according to our principles of slow food: eat good (taste), clean (sustainable and environmentally clean) and fair (with producers). It identifies local producers. This is a new project going on in the committee of Florence.
Another project is to organise a mercato della terra: market that sells exclusively products from a short distance of production, in which the producers meet the consumers, and sell their products directly, just as it was a few decades ago.
Slow food is currently doing work in places all over the world! with the goal of building food sustainability and also to promote food that is GOOD, CLEAN and FAIR.
to know more about this organisation and their activities in Italy visit: