Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Slow Food Nation; Mission Accomplished?

Last month I posted some of my personal comments on Slow Food in response to a NY Times piece that previewed the Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco as well as criticized the organization rather one sidedly. After reading the NY Times follow up articles on this event, I feel reluctant to be so critical of Slow Food.

From reading a few reviews of the event a lot has been accomplished from it. Slow Food vaulted itself into the national spotlight, even if short lived. This introduced a lot of people to slow food who might not have otherwise given the principles much thought. The physical event itself brought many different people together and broke down a plethora of boundaries that people abide by unwittingly. Farmers got to mingle with customers not just chefs, and customers got to see raw product, and examine it’s path before it got from the restaurants back door to the plate. Social and economic communities mingled together reminding each other to recycle, or compost, or shop locally. These were the reasons the event was put on, and the message was presented as planned. Only time will tell how responsive people will be. Just reading about this happening encourages me to examine Slow Food a little deeper, and more open minded.


Scott Sebastian said...

I find events like these to be "sideshows." Are they really spreading the word or just giving themselves another platform to gain notoriety? I bet at least 90% of those attending are already advocates in one form or another.

Scott Sebastian said...

or perhaps to feel important or relevent.

(Feeling cynical today)

Michael Walsh said...

Scott, I agree with you overall, but events like this wouldn't ever grow if that 90% didn't continually support the machine, even if their participation is 100% self serving.

Sure the big wigs got on stage and patted each other on the back, but look at us, 2 guys that are part of the 10% having a discussion about slow food that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

I'm sure, especially in San Franscisco there are alot of people who would like to be assocaiated with Slow Food, and this was their one chance to throw thier name in the Slow Food 'fish bowl.' And that chef/restaurant/puveyor/farmer will most likely now consider themselfs part of Slow Food, and flaunt this, so the future ramifications of the event will continue to ripple through the industry.

Just wait for that $20/lb goat cheese from San Francisco shows up with a "slow food nation 08" sticker on it....oh wait, the price just went up....$22/lb now!