Slow Food Deutschland
Slow Food’s objectives include the preservation of regional culinary diversity, traditional production methods and the revitalization of artisanal food businesses. Its flagship project is the Ark of Taste, a global catalog of food products at risk of disappearing from the world’s markets.
The circulation and articulation of the movement’s defining narratives are vital to its reach as a powerful political voice.
It is a movement
The Slow Food movement is a subculture that promotes a more respectful treatment of nature and the environment. It also encourages the consumption of traditional regional foods, often grown organically. It has 83,000 members in 50 countries, organised into 800 local convivia. Its philosophy democratises culture and elevates traditional wisdom to the level of scientific knowledge.
The movement advocates a more sustainable lifestyle through its three fundamental tenets: whole foods, clean production methods that preserve the environment, and fair prices for both consumers and producers. It also works to protect agrobiodiversity by maintaining a “Ark of Taste” that travels the globe seeking out traditional and culturally-significant foods.
The movement’s internal diversity can cause tensions, especially when different ‘faces’ of the movement conflict with one another. For example, elitist settings in North America and Western Europe give rise to high-brow eating clubs while ‘radical’ settings in Latin American and Africa raise concerns about land grabbing by multinational corporations.
It is a network
Slow Food is a global network of people committed to good, clean and fair food for all. The movement campaigns worldwide for this goal by educating, inspiring and mobilizing its members. It also promotes a world in which biodiversity and cultural heritage are preserved and enjoyed.
This paper presents the results of a research project that uses a network approach to analyze the evolution of Slow Food. The focus on encounter, coding and signification illuminates the twists and turns that affect a movement’s political orientation and clout. It shows, for example, how a core Slow Food activity and symbol, ‘School Gardens’, met resistance, changes and alterations at the grassroots level.
In addition, the research sheds light on the emergence of a local-global communication and interaction pattern that goes well beyond the traditional domain of social movements. It also explores how semiotic practices acquire coherence and become ‘one’ through the day-to-day concretisation in local spaces of circulating ideas, concepts and codes.
It is a culture
The Slow Food movement advocates for a food culture that celebrates healthy and traditional foods. It also promotes a sustainable food economy and fair remuneration for farmers. Its members are concerned about the loss of biodiversity, and believe that good food should be accessible to all. It also encourages the development of new products that preserve local cuisine and traditions.
The global network of Slow Food campaigns worldwide for food that is good, clean and fair. Its local chapters bring likeminded people together and are committed to promoting a sustainable food system. These networks support small-scale agriculture, artisanal fishing and food production that respects ecosystems. They also promote heritage animal breeds and gastronomic cultural traditions.
The global Slow Food movement has a diverse membership. Its delegates include chefs, farmers, fishers and activists. They are working to convince political decision makers to recognize nutrition as a cross-departmental area and to take a holistic approach to food policy. The organization has also called on MEPs to vote against the deregulation of new genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
It is a way of life
Slow Food members share an insatiable love for good, clean, and fair food. They enjoy preserving a local food culture, respecting producers and the environment, and paying farmers and fishermen a living wage for their work. They also believe that pleasure should be democratic, meaning that everybody should have access to the culinary traditions of their communities.
The organization’s first major milestone was the 1996 Salone del Gusto, an international food fair that celebrates small-scale quality production. Its flagship project, the Ark of Taste, aims to protect the world’s most unique foods (including fruit and vegetable varieties, cheeses, and animal breeds) from extinction by listing them in a global catalog for future generations.
At the regional level, Slow Food members organize activities such as joint dinners or walking excursions to discover local culinary delights. These are fun and educational opportunities that help to build community and a sense of place. At the same time, Slow Food encourages people to act on issues that affect the quality of our food and its sustainability.