The Slow Food International movement has changed the way we consume, grow and relate to our food.
It all started with one man, Carlo Petrini, and his opposition to the opening of a McDonalds in his local community. Imagine…one man took a stand that is now shaping a global movement around our relationship with our food. In a wonderful article Slow food: Have we lost our appetite?, written by Leo Hickman for the Guardian, just as the economic crash of our lifetime was upon us, Hickman tackles with Petrini the questions of cost and good food.
“First, I was worried because there are going to be great problems for the poor people of the world,” he says. “But I have a simultaneous feeling, too. It could lead to a freedom from a false, dog-eat-dog economy. We have to return to a real economy. That’s the opportunity. If agriculture returns to a local economy this could be enormously helpful.” (Petrini – Slow food – Have we lost our appetite?)
The Slow Food movement brought us Slow Food USA and movies that have challenged our tastes such as; Super Size Me, Fast Food Nation, and Food Inc. Now another powerful film has taken to the stage around the food conversation – Urban Roots by Tree Media. We had the pleasure of speaking with Leila Conners, the producer of the film and she told us a little about why Tree Media got behind this movie.
“We had just come off of making the 11th Hour with Leonardo DiCaprio, which tackled the need for us all to awaken to the enviornmental perils of the planet. This project was a wonderful answers to some of the problems we had highlighted in the that film. Urban Roots follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. When Detroit-native and the film director Mark MacInnis came to us with his footage we new it was a great partnership for Tree Media. It is timely given the collapse of the US auto industry and the need to move toward a more sustainable future.”
Urban Roots speaks to the rebuilding of Detroit through a local “Victory Garden” movement. The community garden addresses the worries that Petrini expressed around the poor and food. Instead of sidelining the poor, the community garden once again empowers individuals to make a personal and direct difference to the poverty they are facing. And at the same time, this movement re-establishes a long-term healthy relationship with our food that has been missing for decades. Farmer’s markets across the United States are now accepting food stamp programs – see the NY Times Article, Food Stamps, Now Paperless Are Getting Easier to Use at Farmer’s Markets, by Katie Zezima.
On October 24, 2011 the Center for Science in the Public Interest will host the first national Food Day with events highlighting Community Supported Agrigulture (CSAs), farmer’s markets, food drives and an overall general awareness around the importances of Slow Food, and what is growing into a Slow Living movement. Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which he co-founded in 1971, writes for The Atlantic about how and why Food Day got started.
american made magazine is working with The Greenpoint Reform Church, and their seminary pastor Dan Bailey-Yavonditte, to host a screening of Urban Roots as a benefit to the Greenpoint Reform Church soup kitchen program and their self-sustaining garden. See the Facebook Event page for details and to share with all your neighbors and friends. We will also be supporting the producers and director of Urban Roots by having the film available on site for purchase. In the meantime you can find details on how you can buy the film and a beautiful poster by Shepard Fairey as ways to also support this important documentary. You can also find local activities on the Food Day website via your zip code, and participate directly in a more sustainble way of living on our planet.