Healthy Habits: Slow Food Movement
Flavors, along with nutrition, of fresh foods get lost in modern industrial agriculture. The idea behind the slow food movement, which started in the early 1990’s, put a focus on preparing and consuming fresh foods at home and continuing a tradition of culture, community and communication. The increase in fast food locations and processed food products make it convenient to grab, go and eat on the run.
Proponents of the slow food culture identify several ideals they use to make decisions about their food choices. The slow food movement has its share of controversy related to GMO/non-GMO and the sustainability of organic agriculture. Further, the corporate influence on policy, through lobbying, is highly debated amongst many who oppose the slow food movement.
IDEALS AROUND SLOW FOOD:
Supporting Locally Grown Food – keeping dollars close to home helps to support local farmers and communities. Locally grown foods travel fewer miles making it a more economical and sustainable.
Less Food Waste – consuming only what you need reduces the food waste. Food waste has an impact on landfills. Finding ways to use otherwise wasted food could make an environmental and economic impact.
Fewer Food Miles – the farther your food travels to its destination requires more money, emits more carbon into the atmosphere and the quality of many foods can become compromised.
Fewer Chemicals – Promotion of healthy fertile soil and reduction of chemical run-off in water through more natural practices. Healthy soil leads to healthy plants which leads to healthy individuals.
Food Traceability – Identifying the source of the origin of foods can help in protecting the food safety of the food system as well as give the consumer access to knowing how far their food has traveled.
Grow your Own – You get the satisfaction of consuming what you grow and get to control the fertilizers and pesticides being used.
Preparing a home cooked meal every night of the week may not be feasible for busy families. Two-income earning adults in many households, schedules filled with countless activities for multiple children and limited culinary skills can be a challenge to changing our convenience culture.
Placing more value on our food by having an “eat to live” rather than a “live to eat” mentality may have benefits beyond simple nourishment. Changing how we buy, prepare and eat food can impact our health, family, environment and community. Committing to just a few of the ideas around the slow food movement may enhance your meal experience, nourish families and communities.
The slow food movement doesn’t have to be a give or take all scenario. Making mindful decisions about the food you eat, knowing how and where it’s grown, and the impact you can have on the environment by making those choices can begin to change the fast paced, fast food environment and allow us to relax and enjoy nature’s true bounty.
This Week’s Healthy Habit: Start your own slow food journey by sitting down, eating slowly and enjoying every bite.