Learning About Slow Food

I wrote a post about Slow Living recently. Now I want to dig into Slow Food.

So first I wanted to know where the term came from and find resources to read.

Red bowl of lemons

What’s the history of Slow Food?

In 1986, McDonald’s wanted to open a franchise at the base of the Spanish Steps and Italians were not pleased, so they gathered for a protest.

Instead of just waving signs and chanting, they brought a big bowl of penne pasta and handed it out to the crowd that gathered.

People shared a meal at the Spanish Steps and began chanting “we don’t want fast food, we want Slow Food.” That gathering was the foundation for the birth of the Slow Food movement.

***

I suppose growing up we had Slow Food. The chickens laid the eggs we ate. My grannies killed the chickens they cooked.

We had a big vegetable garden and then my grannies canned lots of fruits and vegetables in the summer for winter eating. Those jars of food went into the cellar out back.

I didn’t know what a can of food looked like till way down the line.

Homegrown tomatoes

The Slow Food core values:

Good

  • Believe that delicious nutrition is a right for everyday life
  • Cultivate joyful connections to community and place
  • Advocate for diversity in ecosystems and societies

Clean

  • Protect natural resources for future generations
  • Help people and the environment depend on each other
  • Promote food that is local, seasonal, and sustainably grown

Fair

  • Build local cooperation and global collaboration while respecting all laws
  • Require no prerequisite or credential for participation
  • Fight for dignity of labor from field to fork

Slow Food logo

You can join this initiative and find out more about what you can do in your community here.

Peppers grown on my patio

So now I’m learning about Slow Living and Slow Food. Trying to improve my quality of life. Trying to be healthy. (Which means I need to avoid Popeye’s Chicken!)

I’m not a spring chicken anymore, so I need to be more cognizant and deliberate about what I put into my mouth and how much of it I swallow.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more selective about where I get food and the ingredients in my food. But I do struggle with picking up fast food.

Living alone, I have not felt the need or desire to cook like I did when I had a family eating meals with me. Who wants to cook for one?

Cooking for one often means eggs and toast in my home.

What are your thoughts about this?

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29 Comments

  1. PS – I thought of more to say on this subject as I was going about my daily routine. Hope you don’t mind. You’ve probably heard or read about inflammation – that’s the new buzzword. There’s many articles and books written about it now. Inflammation is what causes disease in the body. And the foods we put in our body are what controls the inflammation. Sugar is known to be one of the biggest inflammatory markers. My husband and I quit eating processed sugar at few years ago. We both lost weight, our blood pressure went down, and the psoriasis I had on my knees since I was 16 years old totally went away! I rarely bake anymore (I used to always have some kind of homemade baked goodie laying around…cookies, quick breads, muffins) but when I do, now I only use pure maple syrup or raw local honey.

    Fish….a good source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, but unfortunately, I don’t like it. So I take a daily Omega-3 supplement and I do eat wild-caught canned tuna once in awhile. That’s the most important thing with fish – make sure if you do eat it, that it’s wild-caught and not farmed. Here’s just one quick article you can read about this. There’s much more info out there, if you care to research it:

    https://www.drperlmutter.com/5-reasons-avoid-farm-raised-fish/

    The worst fish you could eat is tilapia. You see it a lot on restaurant menus, because it’s so cheap. It is mostly farm-raised in China and fed antibiotics. Again, you can look it up online if you want more interesting reading. 😉

  2. You know I’m all about the healthy eating, Brenda! 😉 I’m a very strong believer in that “food is everything”. In other words, what we put in our mouths has a direct correlation to our health. When we eat crappy food (processed food, fast food, chemicals and preservatives, artificial flavorings and colorings, soybean oil, MSG, etc) – we not only feel like crap, but our body protests in different ways. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, skin inflammations, aches and pains, headaches, IBS and other bowel inflammation, etc etc. If you want some interesting reading, read about gut health. Your gut is truly your second brain. So many diseases and illnesses could be avoided simply by putting clean food into our mouths.

    I choose to eat real, clean food whenever possible. That means organic meats and eggs, lots of organic veggies and fruits, and limited organic dairy. I also eat nut butters and raw nuts. I never eat fast food! Once in a blue moon, I’ll grab a salad at Panera and we do order pizza once in awhile from a local place up the street, but that’s it. We never eat at places like McDonalds, BK, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, etc.

    It’s not hard to cook for one person or eat healthy for yourself. My mom has lived alone (widow) for 20 years and eats very healthy. She makes things like stir-fry using one chicken breast and lots of veggies. Or, she makes bean and veggie dishes. (I can’t digest beans.) She also makes a lot of homemade soup and just freezes the leftovers into individual containers. As for myself, since I’m home alone during the day, my breakfast is a healthy smoothie – almond milk, a banana, frozen organic fruit, a small glob of peanut butter, some hemp seeds, and a big handful of organic baby spinach. Lunch is either a big salad (organic greens, chopped veggies, and for protein – either feta cheese, raw nuts, or hard-boiled eggs), or tuna salad, or leftover homemade soup.

    Other healthy quick ideas…veggies and hummus, nut butter on an apple slices, grilled cheese with spinach and tomato, fajitas (just saute chicken breast strips, onions & peppers), scrambled eggs with veggies in them, even just a small plate with some raw almonds, a few cubes of cheese, some raw cut up veggies and crackers is good.

    One last thing: eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Aldi now carries a lot of organic food.

    Hope this helps, Brenda! 🙂

  3. I love to cook for guests, but I hate cooking for the daily grind. And here, it’s two meals a day. For years, my kid and husband both came home for lunch (and I telecommute, so I’m also home). There are no fast food joints anywhere nearby, so that helps. I cook every meal from scratch–no processed or prepared shortcuts from the supermarket. It certainly is healthier and cheaper. There are lots of simple things you can make that are quite delicious. Actually, I learned to cook when I was in Peace Corps in Africa–no fast food there either, and where I lived was remote enough that I shopped only once a week. I was on my own, cooking for one, with a single gas burner and a charcoal stove. I learned to make pizza, bread and brownies on the charcoal stove by rigging up a kind of oven with rocks. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
    I suggest you cook for two days at a time. Make something Monday and eat the other half on Wednesday. Then Tuesday/Thursday. Etc. It will save you some time, without having the same thing two days in a row.

  4. I thought you were talking about soul food! Grits, cornbread, polksalad, etc.!!!

  5. Did you know that the first two bites you take of food are the best tasting and then the taste seems to
    go bland after that?
    You know, you really don’t have to eat everything on your plate; it feels good when you don’t.
    I hear my Mom’s voice in my head when I throw food away because she always said we didn’t have money to waste food. But by using a smaller plate, it seems I put less on it to eat so I try to remember that. If I still throw away what I don’t eat, I can hear my Mom saying just do not put on as much next time!! (Smile)

  6. I struggle with the cooking issue too as I am single and do not have the appetite I used to at all. I liked cooking when I was married but now not at all, and I don’t care for most fast food. Perhaps when the weather gets colder I will makes soups and freeze extra portions or make some meals in the crockpot and do the same. At least that can be healthier as you can control what goes in your meals (less salt, etc). Thanks for bringing up the subject!

    1. Yeah, I’ve got to do the same thing. I saw a veggie sandwich recipe on Pinterest that looked good too. I’m not a big meat eater. I don’t like the texture.

  7. I believe in the notion that we can spend money on healthy, locally grown, preferably organic foods at the market OR spend the same money at the doctor’s office and pharmacy. I do think there is a strong connection between what we eat and our overall health, and it is never too late to change eating and shopping patterns. Furthermore, even though fast food may appear to be inexpensive, it really is not if you put a sharp pencil to it. I, too, have found that I am less interested in cooking now that we are in our 70’s. Would love to transition to a big meal at noon and a very light supper (cereal or popcorn or baked potato or soup).

    1. That’s what I used to do. Have a big meal at lunch. Not sure how I got out of that habit.

  8. I have never loved cooking. I did cook for my ex-husband and my two daughters when we were a family and I think I fixed pretty healthy meals. Nutrition has always been a top value for me even though I wasn’t enthusiastic about cooking. Even when I was living alone I fixed pretty nutritious meals for myself. Now that my daughter and her seven-year-old boys live with me I am again aware of wanting to meet. their nutritional needs. Very rarely do I eat fast food because it doesn’t really agree with me. But, feeding yourself well is a conscious commitment to trying to be as healthy as possible. I think since having had breast cancer some years ago I have been extra aware of the role that our food plays in our health.

    SO…I bite the bullet and purchase organic products for most of my food. Especially foods that I eat nearly every day. And yes, I agree, it is bloody expensive! And I am on a limited income. But for me it is worth giving up whatever I might spend the extra money on to be healthy. I want to see my grandsons grow up and I have other goals that I’d like to achieve before I die. So I want to do whatever helps me stay healthy and active. And Slow Food does take more time than grabbing something from McDonalds. I don’t like that part, but I’m willing to accept it even if I’m the only person eating. Plus, when I cooked only for myself I usually had leftovers so I didn’t have to really cook much on several days a week. That helps.

    But we all have to decide what our priorities are and I don’t criticize anyone for eating differently than I do, nor if someone is cooking for me and doesn’t use the kind of food I eat I make no mention of it and eat whatever they’ve prepared with gratitude for the time and energy they’ve spent providing it. But for those of you who’ve hopped on the Slow Food wagon I am on it, too!

    Thanks to you, Brenda, for your post about Slow Food and Slow Living.

    1. I have to reply to this comment which I think is very nicely expressed Naomi. It’s wise, practical and gracious.

    2. Well, you’re quite welcome about the post. I cooked a lot when my kids were home or when I was married. But I’ve never particularly enjoyed cooking.

  9. I’m really, really into fish tacos right now, relatively cheap and so easy to make. 🙂

    Carol and Molly
    xoxoxo

    1. Oh my goodness. Maybe that’s good eating. But it sounds horrid to me. I’m not a big fish eater. What kind of fish is in the taco, Carol and Molly?

  10. Well, since I’m still out in the workforce, I rely heavily on my crock pot. I make a batch of oatmeal with fruit for my breakfasts at work and lunch is rotated between soup, beef stew, and turkey chili and I place portion sizes in tupperware containers to freeze. I’m rethinking my dinners these days and am leaning toward making a smoothie. I don’t like the idea of a heavy meal in the evenings at it makes me lethargic.
    Carol and Molly
    xoxoxo

  11. I also get tired of cooking, but I cannot see eating fast food very often. I can’t afford it. So I am working on planning lots of cooking recipes in the slow cooker. I can eat the same thing for several days and then I am tired of it and I have to freeze the remainder for later. I eat entirely different in the winter than in the summer. I eat lots of tostadas, hamburgers, and salads in the summer. In the winter it is chili, stew, spaghetti, and beans and ham hocks.
    I do treat myself a couple of times a month and eat out, mostly fast food.

  12. I totally agree with you but have you noticed that eating healthy is very expensive ! I remember my dad and uncles butchering our meat and my mom and aunt’s putting it up along with the vegetables , jellies, jams , milking the cow , I could go on but I won’t . I would dearly love to get back to the basics , cooking on an old wood stove – it was old but beautiful . I do the best I can with my limited income – use dry beans more , frozen instead of canned , eat fresh deer , rabbit and fish and cut back on some things that aren’t so good for you . I just Love blackeye pea soup, yum. Any suggestions or recipes would be appreciated. Have a great day.

  13. Well, nobody wants to cook for one, but you count just like I do! We still deserve to eat well and be healthy! Right?

    I make enough for 4 people if it’s Chinese food and if I get sick of it, then I freeze it for awhile. I’ll buy a big ham and make scalloped potatoes and ham, ham with wte sauce with rice, western…different things with it and freeze it when I get sick of it. Of course I load up on veggies and fruit too, but I have my choc, ice cream, tortilla chips with avocado- whatever I feel like having.

    You could cook a big meal and have your family over too, or bring it over their house. That’s what I do bc it’s easier for my parents when I bring everything over.

    I have eggs and toast with pb when I don’t feel like cooking that night, or french toast, pancakes, omelet or even waffles…the sky’s the limit.
    When you eat better, than you will feel better too Brenda.
    I put the radio on or cds and dance sometimes holding my weights. I also exercise with my equipment, but I’ve been slacking on it…hot summer. ?

    I also bake doggie treats, quick breads, cookies, bundt cakes, granola then freeze them. It’s great to have them for giving out.

    I’m proud of you for wanting to eat healthier and to cook and bake again Brenda!
    Have a fantastic day!

    1. I used to cook a big meal and freeze quite a bit of it. But since the eye surgeries and this bladder infection I haven’t felt much like doing it. I’ll get back to it sooner or later.

  14. I think slow food is definitely my way!! You know how much I love to cook, but I admit, when I’m home alone, I don’t cook a big meal, I give myself the night ‘off’ and I’m ok with that too!

  15. I’m in the food line with you, Brenda. As an empty nester, with a disabled hubby with his own nutritional issues, I find feeding myself a boring but necessary job, and often just so much easier to grab some fast food. I don’t really enjoy cooking any longer, and it’s less hassle to grab something out than to try to stock cooking items and to use them prior to their expiration. Few of us live around extended families to share those meals, so cooking for one is becoming more common. Thanks for sharing!

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