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by Janette Wesley, Slow Food SC Governor

Slow Food Upstate in SC sought to bring to bring children and teens into an active role in the world of sustainable food systems by exploring the importance of taste, food and nutrition, careers in the food industry and agriculture, and to understand ways in which they could be part of a sustainable food system. The chapter applied for a grant with a local charity, LBDG funded through a Greenville SC Food and Wine Festival, EUPHORIA, hosted by Table 301, a restaurant group led by Carl Sobocinski, who is not only a local Slow Food supporter, but also a Slow Food USA Small Business Supporter. Over a two year period, the chapter was granted $6500 which allowed for a local award winning film artist, Jeff Sumerel, to capture the mission with his cameras. Additional funds were added by the Don and Zelma Waggoner Foundation.

The goal in the video project was to create an interest in gastronomy, and encourage young students to follow their passions from the elementary level and into a college education by demonstrating the many possibilities for a career in food production and consumption. “It started by teaching them about taste in this video, much of which was already created by Slow Food International, however, their version was in Italian with sub-titles, so we Americanized it a bit adding a few English speaking kids and food types, with their permission.” Jan Wesley, Slow Food SC Governor. The video features a segment on taste education.

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Even if students decided not to attend University, we wanted to show them that there were so many more choices than a minimum wage job in a fast food restaurant. Our aim was to generate passion for gastronomy on many levels and illustrate economic and personal benefits in the various careers which play an important role in sustaining environmental health of our community. 

Different from the celebrity style cooking shows which most children have access to, we wanted to open the scope to show a clear vision of the many faces of the food world. We brought a window on how a job in the non-profit sector can change millions of people’s lives, with the great examples of Paolo di Croce of Slow Food International, and Richard McCarthy of Slow Food USA. We wanted to bring to light how a chef like and Ann Cooper, is devoted to working together with farmers helps to solve the crisis of food waste, how important it was for farmers and young people to connect, or how a college educator like Earth Market Greenville farmer Dr. Nancy Walker, might come to terms with GMO’s and what it means to experiment with them on a personal level. We wanted to communicate the dynamic and exciting passion of a chef like Rodney Freidank, and a farmer/teacher like Daniel Parson, and how the pleasure of growing or cooking food for others can bring satisfaction to everyday life. We wanted to bring those folks out to speak to the youth who are changing the world with their careers in Slow Food. We hope you will share our videos with everyone! 

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Jan Wesley SC Slow Food Governor, Dr. Beth Kunkel, Slow Food Upstate Chapter Leader, Linda Lee, Slow Food Upstate board member.

Special thanks to euphoria Greenville, Food and Wine event and the LBDG Charity as well as donations from the Don and Zelma Waggoner Foundation for supporting Slow Food Upstate Children’s programs.


Ever thought about a career in the world of food? Check out these opportunities in video!

 What is it like to be a restaurant owner? Meet Carl Sobocinski, owner of TABLE 301 Restaurants in the Upstate of SC

Table 301 is a Slow Food Small Business Supporter.

 What is it like to work in the kitchen?  Meet Rodney Freidank, Chef with TABLE 301 Restaurants.

What is it like to work with a non-profit food organization? Meet Paolo DiCroce of Slow Food International and Richard McCarthy of Slow Food USA. 

What is it like to be an organic farmer? Meet Daniel Parson. 

What do you believe is important about food production?  Here are some thoughts from Slow Food Members.