Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Slow Food is Good Food and the Snail is Metaphorical

Slow Food USA's logo is a snail. Good in a garlicky butter-and-parsley sizzle of course, good too as metaphor for us, of course - plump and happy, clambering through arugula and heirloom tomatoes of an evening. "Soil, water, air, and light. Simplicity," the garden says to us, "Now, That's Delicious."

Slow Food USA (www.slowfoodusa.org)is a movement, a grassroots groundswell, and, as missions go, "the revival of the kitchen and the table as centers of pleasure, culture, and community" is a mission as profound, pleasing, and optimistic as soup.

Slow Food USA and all its state affiliates (SlowFoodDC is the closest/biggest to Annandale) is an educational organization dedicated to land stewardship and ecologically sound food production. They work to establish sound food policy, healthy, affordable school lunches, encourage people to plant victory gardens, save heirloom fruit, veggies, and animals (see Orange Oxheart Tomatoes and You).

These are hardly smug and indulgent goals. The group works to feed kids and families. Slow Food USA is one of the reasons why your town has a farmers' market. It's why you know the words "sustainable" and "organic" and "community-supported agriculture."

Then, like all People-Plant-Earth revelries, there are poetic connections. The message is that Slow is Good. Slow is a crusty loaf and dewy glass, snowy cloth and chiclet-toothed friends. Under an arbor. It's history human and animal in that Norton grape, in that Amish Pie Squash. Thoughtful Food. Eat slowly, it says, talk, nod, mop that thick plate with a chewy slice.


Slow Food says that eating is another opportunity to exercise calm in our worlds - to exercise ease, naturalness, frankness, maybe even, what's this?, Love.


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