The Slow Food movement is not an American movement. This is not to say it is un-American. Our culture is not one to savor but rather one of getting the big event going. To say we are a nation of fast food junkies is a bit short-sighted, but in reality the number of people choosing to spend time on a farm to see how food is grown for vacation is relegated to a small number of wacky journalists.
Food Evangelists like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan will harp ad nauseam about the need for local, organic and other-catch-words-of-the-week foods. I like to eat organics and foods that are locally grown, but sometimes you can’t do it. Sorry Alice, it just isn’t possible in the current market. I think we should increase our organics and local food intake and learn more about the process. I mean I am blogging about it what more do you want Michael?
But earlier this year the Slow Food USA decided to take action away from the table and things are beginning to move a bit faster. This weekend, Labor Day to be exact, will see nearly 300 lunch time rallies calling upon Congress to allocate $1 more per student for school lunch programs. That is a lot of money in case you didn’t want to do the math. This however speaks to the average America more than enjoying a piece of aged Gouda or a raw goat’s milk brie. (Which reminds me I should plug my local Formagerie, The Big Cheese. If you live in NYC, you should go. Tell them I sent you. I will do a bigger post on them another time.)
This protest movement is represented in nearly every state in the country and will bring together concerned parents (remember Soccer Moms and NASCAR Dads?) to learn about the crap schools offer for lunch all while eating good, local foods that are most plentiful right now. What better way to engage in meaningful food politicking than to eat with friends and neighbors? I would love to go to this event but I will unfortunately be on the road at the time of the ultimate food fight with Washington.
I don’t think we need to get the Gouda or brie on the lunch line, but some green veggies that have not graced the warming embrace of fry oil might be a nice step. School is more than learning the three Rs (which is so stupid it hurts my head), but about culture and becoming members of our society. This includes learning how to interact with different kinds of people, conflict resolution and learning how to eat on your own. Granted none of these are “organic” but are controlled by the school administration.
Don’t misunderstand me: New text books are more important than fresh veggies in the lunch line. But there is something to a healthy meal being offered in place of the tots and soda. It is all about fostering a better, smarter, healthier generation of leaders, inventors, scientists, authors, artists and such. So way to go Slow Food USA for figuring out people like to get together and eat outside on Labor Day.
Find a Time For Lunch event near you.