Muni on this:
Before you put a forkful of pasta or a piece of bread in your mouth, do you take a moment to think about how all of that food got to your plate?
While there is an increased interest in food that is organic, vegetarian, vegan, or raw, for its nutritional benefits and ecological friendliness, this also raises awareness on slow food, which if advocated as it should be, can help reduce stress, by allowing you to slow down, take a breath, and mindfully savor the food you work to pay for everyday.
What is Slow Food?
Slow Food is an alternative to its unhealthy distant cousin, fast food. It strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine, encourages farming of crops and livestock characteristic to an area, protects the interests of small-scale food producers and promotes a greater appreciation for good food and drinks.
Its philosophy encourages dining for the pleasure of the senses, more than an act to simply “fuel” gobbled down quickly to get on with the next task or chore. It advocates food that arrives on your plate in the most environmentally responsible way possible, and food producers that are properly compensated for their labor.
The Slow Food movement began in Italy in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. Dining has traditionally been way of socializing all over Italy, what with their rich wines and cheeses.
Slow Food in the Philippines
Food is definitely something that brings together Filipino friends and families as well, and something that you might want to consider on your next get-together or reunion to enjoy one of the best meals you can have together. You can integrate the Slow Food philosophy in your own life by following these simple tips:
- Know where your food comes from. Getting to know your local food producers and the process by which they gather your food makes you appreciate their efforts and your food so much more.
- Grow a vegetable. Small space? Start with a potted herb garden or a simple container garden with one vegetable outdoors. (Have a very UN-green thumb? Muni hopes to organize an urban gardening workshop in April. Details TBA.)
- Bike, walk or take public transit to purchase food, whenever possible. Slow food and slow travel go hand in hand. 🙂
- Have potluck gatherings with friends and family to bring the joy back to home cooking.
- Dine at restaurants that get ingredients from local communities, or better yet, grow their own food. Or restaurants that aim to preserve traditional, regional, or heirloom recipes. (see Sonya’s Garden and Adarna Restaurant)
- Regardless of your religion or non-religion, before you begin your meal, close your eyes, inhale deeply, and take in all the aromas of the food before you. (something I learned from Hariharalaya Retreat Center)
- Eat slowly, as if seducing a lover, and try to taste the different ingredients in the dish. This is your license to play food critic.
When you realize how much time, effort and love goes into getting the food on your plate, you appreciate it more. Make the act of eating a more mindful one, and I’m betting that that spoonful of food you’ve eaten several times before will taste better now than it ever has.
Got any other Slow Food tips? Do share! 🙂
Photo c/o guavascowsandcrocodiles