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30 Years of Slow Food

The Slow Food movement Began in 1989.

This year marks 30 years since the signing of the Slow Food Manifesto and we are celebrating with a few exciting initiatives. 

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.

Since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.

Slow Food Leaders

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Slow Food Manifesto, we want to recognize leaders whose diverse voices and cultures have made a significant impact on our network. You told us which leaders have most inspired you with their work to advance the Slow Food Movement. We are recognizing leaders both long-standing and emerging, with snippets here and longer stories on our blog that showcase their contributions to Slow Food.  

Right now, we have to choose a side that we are honoring. We need to stand up to massive corporations who are homogenizing food and make sure that culture has a voice. Working on a global level with food activists, indigenous or not, relationships develop and we are stronger together.” 

— Vincent Medina & Louis Trevino

I believe that good food is life. The idea of slow food as a counter to the negative impacts of an increasingly globalized industrial food system has grown from a local protest into an international movement. Slow Food International has, for the past 30 years, served as both a catalyst and a hub for that movement.  I see the organization’s greatest impact in it’s multifaceted role of educator, advocate and convener.  As the Slow Food Manifesto promotes “an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, (and) projects” as a way to develop a culture that values local flavors and traditions, Slow Food International continues to adapt in it’s pursuit of that aim.”

— Michael Easterling

“I got to work with students in growing, harvesting, and cooking the Makah Ozette Potato in the Pacific Northwest and saw first hand how the experience was transformative for them in understanding our food system.”

— Philip Lee

“Food is an excellent opportunity to decolonize yourself, to go back and figure out the origins. This movement is about justice; about the future of how we will eat, how we will treat each other, and how we will live”

— Winona LaDuke

“When you’re talking about changing the way you eat, you’re changing people’s minds. It’s a lifestyle change. It’s social. It’s economic. It’s political. It’s spiritual.”

— Chanowk Yisrael

“As a student, I understand the importance of creating opportunities and pathways for youth to enter the Slow Food movement. As a co-director of the Finance and Fundraising Team for the Slow Food Youth Network USA, I hope to help pave these pathways by providing financial support to youth looking to attend Slow Food events and eventually inspiring them to become Slow Food leaders themselves.”

— Kelly Franson

“White or black, it doesn’t matter — We can all bring the tenets of Slow Food to life. I’m working to get people to think about it at the grocery store and farmers market. To ask questions, like how was this produced, who produced it, who’s in the field picking those peas, how are they being treated, and to make good decisions about choosing food.”

— CHEF Kevin Mitchell

“It’s not just cooking.  We are starting a revolution, and the ladies [from Break Bread Break Borders] who cook are my chosen sisters. In creating job opportunities, we are amplifying voices that don’t usually get heard and celebrating women. They practice English and talk to people from all spaces in life.  Their community is not just their physical neighbors.  We are building community and celebrating differences too.”

— Jin-Ya Huang

“This is the time and place for the indigenous food movement. The Western perspective may see us as a trend or a fad, but we’ve always been here; we’ve just been overlooked. Not only did our ancestors survive colonization, but so did our ingredients.”

— Brian Yazzie

“Our regional, local food system is based on this movement.  I think that’s pretty incredible. The ethos of the organization exists beyond the organization itself. Pate continues, “ Slow Food chapters are the body of what Slow Food USA is doing.  People go far with the work they are doing locally. Our food system is drastically changing. People have a keen interest now in understanding their food, especially because of climate change.  Food goes well beyond just diet.”

— Taylor Pate

“We have technology now, but that doesn’t mean we forsake recipes and ingredients from the past. Look at Comal and the participants here — there is a natural tendency towards the natural product, because they come from places without a lot of processed foods or food technology. Places with markets and farming, and we can see a return to that today in the growth in urban farms and in preserving food cultures. ”

— Arden Lewis

“It has been gratifying to link our social justice advocacy as Indigenous peoples to the larger framing of the Slow Food movement and come together with others who are dedicated to contributing to a better world for our children now and into the future. I have witnessed Slow Food bring people together in the way that we are meant to come together — with the very same generosity, reciprocity, and stewardship which underpins how Indigenous peoples have always conducted ourselves.”

— Pauline Terbasket

“Over the past 30 years, the Slow Food movement has germinated, grown and blossomed from an oppositional initiative to McDonald’s and fast food in Italy to a global network that is the most transformational movement on the planet. We have impacted the language, changed policies, inspired youth, embraced indigenous wisdom and culture and have provided a framework for a much-needed human species epochal cultural shift.”

— Jim Embry

“Slow Food fosters relationships that heal communities, and helps strengthen the links between food, joy, and justice. By creating an impressive global network, it has helped build solidarity between food activists doing thoughtful, radical, and deeply transformative work.”

— Sophie Javna

“There is no other organization that so aptly captures both ‘joy and justice.’ The culture, diversity and richness of food is celebrated within the context of being good and wholesome, produced in ways that sustain the planet, and advancing justice for everyone who touches the food system.”

— Kathryn Underwood

“You are youth, elders, farmers, gardeners, growers, ethnobotanists, seed savers, and all those wonderful roles and more, but remember, most importantly, you are all cultivating improvements, skills, and solutions. You are more than visionaries – you are solutionists. You are creating new environments of change, growth, stability, and sustainability not only on your farms, but also in your community, in your generation, in your chapter, in this country, and most of all on this earth.”

— Denisa Livingston

“In these modern times of hurrying to always get things done, it’s even more important to gather around food in the time you can make. We’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Only good comes out of breaking bread with people.”

— Christina Ng

“Food sovereignty is reconnecting to and celebrating one’s roots and ancestry and not needing to ask permission to feed yourself, your family and your community foods that are culturally appropriate.”

— Yusuf Bin-Rella

“Everyone should be mindful of the history of food. So many American foods stem from wild edible native American foods.”

— Aretta Begay

“The Slow Food motto ‘good, clean and fair’ is so simple and to the point, but with such a huge impact. It’s so important at all levels — shallow and deep, locally and internationally, and [on an] intergenerational [level]. But there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

— Elsi Rose

DOWNLOAD The 30 Year Celebration Recipe Booklet


To celebrate 30 Years, we put together a downloadable cookbooklet tha features recipes from a dozen inspiring chefs that include Sean Sherman, Julia Turshen and Dan Barber.

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