Monday, March 19, 2012

Slow Food.....seriously

In the fast pace of life today when we are all looking for the next convenience I would like to challenge your thinking.  What if instead of focusing on the fastest thing you can stuff in your mouth while going down the road you considered "Slow Food".  Yes I'm serious, it is a very real term with some very serious advocates and participants in the movement.  Last night I volunteered at a dinner that celebrated this concept and would have turned any doubter into a believer.  These folks are not a bunch of vegetarian hippies that have no passion for food.  What I discovered were a group of quite sophisticated foodies that simply know a good thing when they eat it.

The first time I heard this term was twelve years ago in California and have read a couple of books on the topic.  My favorite was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  Well I finally stumbled upon the fact that Baton Rouge has a "Slow Food" Chapter and a very good one at that.  I must admit I was skeptical at first.  In all honestly when I saw the $125 ticket price I thought volunteering would be a much better way to get a close up view of what exactly what was going on.  After my evening observation and describing the event to my husband next year we will be buying a ticket.  I truly think it was a meal worthy of the cost, not only for the stellar culinary experience but the atmosphere was truly a thing of beauty.

So you may be wondering exactly what "Slow Food" means.  It is really a simple concept that you can read the definition of here.  Basically all about buying locally grown produce, sustainably produced meats, dairy products, eggs, etc.  The deeper question to ask is WHY should I care about this and how is it even possible with the busy lifestyle we live?

First to answer the why question......food grown locally in the ecosystem you live in is healthier and it is what your body needs.  Just because you read that some exotic fruit has such and such health benefit doesn't mean that it will have that benefit after being picked before it is ripe then shipped across the world to reach you.  I could go on about that for a while but instead you do the research.  Secondly, eating this way is better for the environment.  Third, your kids will realize that the earth actually provides their food which I think is a lesson that should be taught to a greater extent.  Fourth, it is better for all mankind.  Did you know that the grain that is used to feed the cattle that produces meat for the mass produced food industry could end world hunger?  Also that more people die as the result of hunger than malaria, aids, and tuberculosis combined, yet 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of illness related to being overweight or obese. That is disturbing to me and points to the fact that we are not taking care of fellow man but we are eating their portion.  The concept of "Slow Food" will force you to think of the ramifications of how the food you eat affects others because don't be deceived, it does.  Sorry, got a little intense there for a second.  This is supposed to be a happy blog.  Now to the question of how......that is the tricky part.  I don't have the whole diet thing perfect, especially when I am ill prepared which has been pretty often lately.  So that would be my first recommendation, stay prepared.  Go to http://slowfoodbr.org/ if you are from the Baton Rouge area and find a list of restaurants that follow  Slow Food principles.  Do the best you can.  That's all I do.  I try to teach my kids to be a "food snob", they need to feel like they are too good to eat fast food and junk.  I have been somewhat successful but not completely, which is okay because I know the things I teach them now they will always remember, the Bible promises me that.

I hope I have given you a little insight into the whole "Slow Food" concept and that you will find joy in putting the best food on earth on your families table.  I will say this though, being at the table together as a family is more important than the food that graces it.  Those kiddos will remember the time spent more than the food but since you have them there you may as well feel good about what you are serving.



Carrot Bisque

One of the most beautiful settings I've ever seen!

Hog's Head Cheese

Pigs head, yikes!  Stuffed leg of pork, my favorite dish of the evening and I don't usually eat pork.

Me doing a little volunteer work.  The term "will work for food" applies;)
The evenings menu

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