This week I got to talk to a lovely lady over at the Slow Food Movement, which is a global not-for-profit organisation seeking to promote a better way to eat. Their slogan is ‘celebrate what’s on your plate’, you know I sure do! They have suggested three small things so you can do to make better choices for yourself and your family.
Stop. Think. Eat.
- Choose local producers.
- Opt for sustainable sources.
- Make a small change; it makes a difference.
I love this and if we all did this it would make such a big difference in the world. So to celebrate I’ve teamed up with Eversfield farm and the head chef Tom at Climpsons Arch to bring you a series of recipes, using those cheaper cuts of meat. We will show you how easy slow cooking is, how simple sides can bring colour and flavour, so you can cook like a pro and enjoy the best. In the meantime here is my interview with the Slow Food movement.
What do you think the main environmental issues impacting the planet are the moment?
Global warming, industrial farming (especially meat production), persisting food poverty, GMO modified grains, the bee and pollination crisis… I think there are various ways to make a difference, but they all include different levels of resources. I think a great start is the personal level! For instance, I try to reduce food waste by utilising vegetable ‘waste’ for stock making or buying a whole (organic) chicken and using all parts for different dishes, e.g. a casserole. Also, eating seasonally and local always helps the regional economy, reduces food miles and guarantees freshness as well as keeping local farmers in business. It seems like cutting back on asparagus from Peru in the Winter or on strawberries from the US when they are not in season, but the quality and taste will usually be better once the product is in season. I know convenience, time and money makes a big difference on habits, too, but cooking bigger portions and freezing them helps or reducing supermarket meat consumption and treating yourself to a nice steak from the butcher once a week… On a bigger scale, if we as customers show dissatisfaction with a product or we ask many questions and are interested in what we eat, then eventually the supply has to change accordingly, so education definitely plays a big role in getting a change in our food system rolling. Regarding pollination, supporting campaigns or encouraging natural bee’s living environments through wild gardening or green spaces in the cities could be a way forward, too….
What is a Slow Food Movement event?
It depends a lot on the nature of the event, whether it’s a tasting or farm visit organised by a local group, a cooking demo in one of our Slow Food on Campus groups in universities or a chef event and dinner with Forgotten Foods, so you can either learn about our network in the UK and globally. There are different programmes we run in the UK, what our Forgotten Foods are and how we work with small artisan producers to get their produce back on the market. But one thing is certain, you will definitely leave inspired, having tasted great quality food and having spoken to very knowledgeable and passionate people.
Are you seeing a change in peoples attitudes towards how they view and cook the food they are eating?
This is hard to say as we often already reach the ‘converted’ whereas we are trying to broaden our reach and touch people who are not yet aware of Slow Food’s philosophy. However, from the fast growth of our social media followers and our mailing lists, we can see that people are definitely interested in our work and the message we spread day in and out.
I love what these guys are doing and if you want to join in on the fun, learn some new skills, meet new people and trying some delicious local delights check out the Slow Food Movement, they get the thumbs up from me in making the world a better place for us all to enjoy.