The Slow Food philosophy is to support traditional and local food, safeguard biodiversity, food traditions and culture and encourage small producers. Slow Food is a mass movement of millions of people in 160 countries who believe that the world can be improved through responsible food production, increased environmental awareness and responsible consumer behavior.
The International Slow Food movement was formally founded in 1989 in the town of Bra in Northern Italy by a group of people who wanted to nurture traditional food and food culture. Their goal was to counter the ever-increasing and negative effects of supermarkets and fast food. The beginning can be traced to protests at the opening of McDonald’s place by the Spanish Steps in Rome in 1986. More information here.
The organization operates under the slogans Good, Clean and Fair. Good stands for quality, taste and wholesomeness. Pure stands for environmentally friendly production without contaminants or toxins. Fair stands for accessibility for consumers to good, healthy and ethical food and fair conditions for manufacturers. More information here.
Special emphasis is placed on the conservation of genetic diversity under the cap of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, which manages the Taste of Ark. It is a powerful project that involves the preservation of dishes, crops and livestock. The old Icelandic animal heritage breeds, brought to the country over a thousand years ago by the Viking settlers, along with some traditional dishes and products, are registered in the Ark of Taste. More information here.
International networking and food festivals are an important part of what Slow Food does. The biggest ones are Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto in Turin and Slow Food Cheese in Bra, which hundreds of thousands of people attended in September 2019. Slow Food is one of the founders of the wonderful University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo. More information here.
Thousands of young people around the world are working towards a better future through food by participating in the Slow Food Youth Network. More information here. Part of the Slow Food movement is also the Slow Food Chef Alliance, to which several Icelandic chefs belong. Slow Food in Iceland has been strong over the years, thanks to a great group of unselfish volunteers.
The Slow Food movement is funded by member donations, grants and profits from book publishing and other activities. Carlo Petrini has been president of the movement since the very beginning. He visited Iceland in 2017 and gave a great lecture. The visit attracted considerable media attention and Petrini was interviewed by the Farmers Newspaper and by the most popular news-related TV program in the country. There he declared, memorable, that Icelandic lamb was the best he had ever tasted!