The modern lifestyle values efficiency, multi-tasking, and the ability to cope up with the fast-paced life; time is money so the faster something gets things done the better. Everything – from traveling to shopping to eating, now has its more time-saving counterpart. Fast food, a product of the modern life, caters to anybody looking for a quick meal – an option becoming more and more a part of the everyday lifestyle while the good old made-from-scratch meals are slowly becoming less and less of a practice.
While it is embarrassingly convenient, when it comes to fast food there is one caveat: processed food is proved to be less healthy than home cooked meals. Despite this fact, there is no stopping franchised food chains to set up new branches one after another. Apart from that, globalized food production leaves a larger carbon footprint due to transportation costs, industry waste, and the mode of production itself. It is also creating a culture that takes for granted the value of good and real food that nourishes.
As an answer to this growing issue, the Slow Food Movement was born. It was founded in by Carlo Petrini in 1989. It was a response to the opening of a McDonald’s branch near the Spanish Steps in Rome and has since grown into an international non-profit organization in over 150 countries. More than food itself, the movement is a lifestyle. It promotes traditional cooking without pre-packed easy-to-do add-ons. It encourages the use of locally sourced ingredients, better if it allows an exploration of the indigenous foods located within the region. It supports organic farming, ethical buying, and learning the art of gardening. It supports tradition and culture. Most of all, it encourages the appreciation of food and all its wonderful benefits.
The benefit of the Slow Food Movement as an official organization is that it allows one to be a part of a community with like-minded individuals sharing the same goals. Given the visibility of the group, there is bound to be one in your area you can participate in. However, official membership is not the only route to adapting this movement as one can always incorporate the ways of the Slow Food Movement into one’s lifestyle. The Slow Food Movement is for all. Here are ways to participate:
- Spend time in the kitchen
How long has it been since you made food from scratch? And no, preparing instant noodles doesn’t count. Though it takes more time, eschewing packaged food ingredients ensures you that you really know what is going in your food. Moreover, cooking is an excellent way to de-stress, adding points for the extra psychological benefits. Cooking can also be an opportunity to bond with family and friends by hosting cook outs or cooking sessions wherein you can also share recipes and culinary know-hows.
- Be a smart shopper
It pays to do research in knowing what goes into your diet. Wherever applicable, reading labels also help in determining the exact nutritional benefits of whatever it is you’re consuming. It is also a good option to always shop locally – it minimizes the need to transport food from several areas and saves on gas and transportation costs. Supporting the livelihood of local farmers ensures that you will never run out of fresh produce for your newfound healthy lifestyle.
- Making more time for meals
Food has always found a way to bring people together. Our earliest ancestors the cavemen did it, huddling over a common bonfire gnawing away at their communal meals. Making meals a family or community thing enriches not only the body but also the spirit. Moreover, eating slowly minimizes the chance of overeating and allows food to be digested more thoroughly. Importantly, savoring food and all its gastronomic delights is sure to be rewarding in itself.
Marc Webster encourages every family to buy fresh, prepare nutritious, home cooked meals and say no to processed and instant foods. He is also Parts and Components Specialist at All Time Medical, a provider of light wheelchairs and walkers with seats.