Have you ever wished for life to slow down for a while? For a change of pace, try “slow food”. It doesn’t come in a package, but slow food is simple and it can be fun for everyone.
Grab and go meals have become a way of life for most of us. A large variety of processed foods, frozen dinners, and fast foods are available. Many people now spend very little time making meals. The fast food industry is changing our food culture, and it is having an alarming impact on our health. Rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are growing.
Another danger is the risk of losing our food heritage. In 1986, Carlo Petrini of Italy started the Slow Food movement in part to save foods that are disappearing due to the rise of processed foods and modern farming. The Slow Food movement also provides taste education and links producers to consumers through events and projects. Local groups organize events and activities for members, children and teachers. For example, members may take part in a tasting workshop or children may visit a local farm or farmers’ market.
Slow Food is worldwide and is growing in Canada. This is no surprise since ‘slow food’ can benefit everyone. Replacing fast food and processed foods with those made from basic ingredients promotes good nutrition. Sharing meals with others and meeting new people while preparing foods can be a great social experience. Slow food can help people make food choices with awareness and responsibility, changing our relationship with food in a positive way.
Slow Food believes in recognizing the importance of pleasure connected to food. Here are some fun slow food ideas:
- Make home made noodles or perogies with a neighbour.
- Plant spinach seeds with your children and help them make a salad with fresh spinach leaves.
- Make bannock with a parent or elder.
- Visit a local farm to see where food is grown.
- Set up a School Gardens project.
- Host a Taste Workshop.
Slow food has rewards for physical, social, and mental well-being. Slowing down can be a great way to protect health and traditions. Visit http://www.slowfood.ca for more information.
WRITTEN BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITIONISTS OF SASKATCHEWAN
Revised by: Shari Tremaine, Five Hills Health Region
Editing Buddy: Jennifer Miller, Prairie North Health Region
Adapted from: PHNSWG article “Slow Food for Better Health”, June 11, 2006 by Holly Reimer, Dietetic Intern, Marilee Hornung, Sunrise Health Region
Slow Food Canada, www.slowfood.ca/.