About Slow Food USA
Over thirty years ago, a large group of Italians gathered in Rome for a protest. Why? A fast food franchise was opening at the base of the iconic Spanish Steps. Instead of throwing rocks and yelling, the activists brought in a big bowl of penne pasta and shared it with the crowd that gathered, chanting:
We don’t want fast food.
We want Slow Food!
That gathering was the birth of the Slow Food movement. Today, we are in over 160 countries, with 150 chapters in the United States. Slow Food USA exists to facilitate and grow individual engagement in the movement, organize gatherings of the Slow Food network, direct campaigns to spread the Slow Food message, and build solidarity through partnerships with organizational entities both internal and external to the Slow Food network. Our goal is ambitious: good, clean and fair food for all.
Food represents a common language and universal right. Slow Food USA envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet. In essence, food that is good, clean and fair.
Seeking to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system, Slow Food USA reconnects Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for all:
- Believe in delicious nutrition as a right for everyday life
- Cultivate joyful connections to community and place
- Advocate for diversity in ecosystems and societies
- Protect natural resources for future generations
- Help people and the environment depend on each other
- Promote food that is local, seasonal, and sustainably grown
- Build local cooperation and global collaboration while respecting all laws
- Require no prerequisite or credential for participation
- Fight for dignity of labor from field to fork
Join us to connect the pleasures of the table with a commitment to the communities, cultures, knowledge, and environment that make this pleasure possible.
Slow Food USA is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
What We Do
Slow Food USA gathers likely and unlikely allies to transform the way we produce, consume, and enjoy food. From grassroots activists to policymakers, from farm to table, we are gathering a vast network for a common good. We gather both in online communities and in local, national, and international events.
Together around specific issues, we campaign to make cultural shifts for food that is good, clean, and fair for all. Join us!
- Equity, Inclusion and Justice: We acknowledge that many injustices exist within our food system and are proactively working to dismantle these structures.
- Plant a Seed Campaign: Every Spring, plant seeds from the Ark of Taste and learn how to preserve endangered (and delicious) plants.
- The Ark of Taste: We promote biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, small-scale food production, and the preservation of traditional foods and knowledge, through our Ark of Taste products.
- Food and Farm Policy: By advocating for positive change in public policy, we forge political, social, environmental and economic links to develop a sustainable and fair food chain.
- School Gardens: We educate and grow the next generation of food-aware individuals.
- Slow Fish: We promote local, community-driven fisheries, fish mongers, and fishermen that respect our resources and provide seafood that is good, clean, and sustainable.
- Slow Meat: We work for better meat by improving animal welfare and promoting regenerative agriculture, and less meat, by advocating for more sustainable cattle management practices.
We build momentum through strategic partnerships. Slow Food began as a grassroots movement of concerned individuals changing the world. As our movement matures, we are increasingly connecting the foodies and the activists and other local and “slowcal” heroes with each other and with food-forward influencers, consumer groups, and policymakers.
The Slow Food Manifesto
The Slow Food international movement officially began when delegates from 15 countries endorsed this manifesto, written by founding member Folco Portinari, on December 10, 1989.
Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.
We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.
To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid ourselves of speed before it reduces us to a species in danger of extinction.
A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food.
Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.
In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.
That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects?
Slow Food guarantees a better future.
Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement, with the little snail as its symbol.
Download the PDF version of the Slow Food Manifesto.