Slow Food

By Tanja Jacobs – Artistic Associate

Quite a while ago, our dryer went out of commission. It was actually a stupid mishap; while the lint trap was open a clothespin fell in and got stuck inside the between the drum and the housing, so the drum could no longer spin. Perhaps the clothespin was a tiny symbol: We would live without a dryer and use a clothesline. Even though I enjoy the clothesline, I am sometimes annoyed by the amount of time I occupy with hanging out wet clothes. I tell myself I am engaged in a “slow” activity, something simple and authentic. The time it takes to do this task is unchanged by progress, or my impatience.

I casually suggested recently that in resisting the idea of a small number of corporations acquiring a monopoly over more and more intimate areas of our lives, that maybe the Slow Food movement had spawned the Occupy movement.

The Slow Food movement was born in 1986 out of an urgent wish to prevent McDonald’s from opening a fast food outlet near the Spanish Steps in Rome. The founder, Carlo Petrini is thought by many to be a modern hero. It’s his idea that modern people are pressed to eat fast food so they will have more time to consume other things. This simple observation seems to me a radical one. People occupied with growing, harvesting and preparing food that is “good, clean and fair” are more likely to consider a food’s relationship with its history. These folks are more likely to see how food fits into the never-ending narrative of biodiversity, as the key to the future of the earth.

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