SLOW DOWN, EAT FOOD, GIVE THANKS
Bellingham Alive Magazine, November 2018 Issue, Page 27 - Written by Sarah Sibley
Maybe you’ve heard this term, “slow food”, but haven’t taken the time to truly understand it. With Thanksgiving, a time of gathering together to share a meal, it seems an ideal occasion to hear more about this movement that celebrates harvesting and enjoying local food together at the table.
According to Slow Food USA, slow food is the antithesis of fast food. It is the practice of slowing down, understanding where food comes from and enjoying the local bounty. As an organization they “inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for all.” There are slow food chapters across the nation including one in Skagit County and one on Whidbey Island. Slow Food Whidbey Island has an active chapter focused on “understanding what the community needs” and how to “better connect the community with local food,” explains President Mervyn Floyd. As a result, the organization hosts cooking classes that involve local farms and farmers, supports the island’s farm to school programs and are working to increase Agritourism on Whidbey Island.
Kathy Floyd, Mervyn’s wife, facilitates membership in the local chapter and encourages everyone, not just those who live on Whidbey, to get involved. As the only active Slow Food organization in the area, they have a full calendar of events. Slow Food Skagit has an active website full of links to local food, a harvest calendar and recipes.
Visit your local farmers market. Reap the bounty of the abundant farmland that surrounds us. And, bring those you love around the table to slowly enjoy it all together on Thanksgiving.
WHIDBEY ISLAND ROCKS! - October 2018
Slow Food Whidbey Island has received an email from Richard McCarthy who is the President of Slow Food USA. Our chapter reached #1 status during this year’s membership drive as being the best in the nation. A HUGE “Thank You” to all our members for making this possible! Here is his email.
We are tabulating our September Slow Food member campaign numbers. The Whidbey Island chapter rocked it out of the park. Thank you and congratulations! You signed up/renewed 73 people in September. You’re number one!!!!
Here’s to the verve of island communities!
Keep up the amazing work!
Richard McCarthy, President, Slow Food US
Slow Food Whidbey Island is educating the community about the importance of locally sourced food
by Carolyn Tamler - February26, 2018, Whidbey Weekly Newspaper
The Slow Food movement started in Italy in the late 1980’s under the stewardship of Carlo Petrini. Petrini began Slow Food in response to a McDonald’s restaurant coming to his small city in Italy.
Since its beginnings, the Slow Food movement has expanded to over 150 locations in countries around the world. The movement encompasses many objectives:
Promoting food that is the opposite of fast food, where meals are savored and shared
Supporting artisanal foods and wines
Educating people about traditional methods of preparing foods
Encouraging people to seek out heritage breeds and plants, rather than genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) that are the results of corporate production
Helping people understand the importance of commitment to land stewardship
Encouraging people to eat local foods grown using sustainable and ethical methods
Slow Food Whidbey Island is a chapter of Slow Food USA. Major initiatives of Slow Food Whidbey Island have been to support local farmer’s markets and local school gardens.
The Slow Food movement came to Whidbey Island 10 years ago. The founders included Anza Muenchow, Aracely Knox and Vincent Nattress. They put a lot of focus on how food is grown on Whidbey and whether the food is grown in ways that are healthy for the environment and for the soil. They also want to be sure that people who raise these organic, healthy foods are paid fair wages for their work.
Slow Food Whidbey Island is working on ways to collaborate and partner with local farmers and like-minded organizations. They have made great strides in promoting school gardens. They also offer many cooking classes. The organization especially believes in the importance of supporting local farmers. Currently, Slow Food Whidbey Island is doing this through:
“Whidbey Island Grown” – promoting this brand that shows local food values
Promoting Whidbey as a food industry
As a result of the efforts of the organization, heritage foods are being grown in greater abundance on the island, including Rockwell beans and Sugar Hubbard squash.
Mervin Floyd is Board President and there are five additional Board members.
One of the major focuses of this movement is to promote the value of sharing meals together, especially family meals. With so many adults leading stressful, busy lives, it’s easy to skip the ancient tradition of simply sharing dinner together. In the book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver, she points out her belief in the importance of parenting involving a regular dinnertime together. She notes, “A survey of National Merit scholars – exceptionally successful eighteen-year olds crossing all lines of ethnicity, gender, geography and class – turned up a common thread in their lives: the habit of sitting down to a family dinner table.”
Full information about Slow Food Whidbey, and about upcoming events, can be found on their website: http://www.slowfoodwhidbeyisland.org and on their Facebook page.