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« Lowering the Boom (Microphone) | Main | Quote for the Day »

July 31, 2008

Slow Woodstock?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Get ready for a summer-ending Slow Food blowout. A great quote from Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini: "I always say a gastronome who isn’t an environmentalist is just stupid, and I say an environmentalist who isn’t a gastronome is just sad." Petrini gets my CultureHero of the Day award.

I'm sorry to see, though, that the leaders of Slow Food USA are determined to make the movement even more political and diversity-obsessed than it already is. Why is good food and good eatin' -- let alone clean air and clean water -- so often a leftie thing? Righties ought to be ashamed of themselves for letting such causes slip through their fingers.

Semi-related: I blogged about the Slow movement here and here. Here's the website of the worldwide Slow Food organization. Here's Slow Food USA.



posted by Michael at July 31, 2008


Why is good food and good eatin'... so often a leftie thing?

But is it, really? Or is it just that the urge to join a Movement is more a lefty thing? Moira and I grow our own vegetables, bake our own bread, shop the perimeter of the food store, eat the Mediterranean diet... but a movement? What do I need a freakin' "movement" for? Screw that, and the totalitarian urge it rode in on.

Posted by: David Fleck on July 31, 2008 11:17 PM

"You can buy a cashmere truffle-hunting vest embroidered with the Slow Food snail logo at the main office in Bra."

"...identifying traditional foods, like Ethiopian white honey or Amalfi sfusato lemons, and designing ways to help the people who produce them."

"The group’s budget is about $39 million, and subsidized by the Italian government."

"Festival leaders have courted Mr. Ahmadi and others to lead panels on hunger, race and poverty."

I can only conclude that the New York Times is now a purely satirical publication, owned and run by Right Wing Death Beasts. That one word "designing", in its context, is just hilarious.

As for me, I like to get down and rap with the ultimate Green Revolutionary:

Posted by: Robert Townshend on August 1, 2008 12:04 AM

I've got to agree with David Fleck.

I'm neither a rightie nor a lefty, which means by default that I'm defined as a rightie. You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem

I grow a beautiful garden every summer. Some years I even can produce. My herbs are super potent. During my years in San Francisco, I learned the importance of whole foods, particularly heavy grains. To this day I follow Adelle Davis advice and steam my veggies, instead of boiling them.

In the fevered swamps of leftdom, leaving people alone to decide what they want to do is unacceptable. So, yes, the left preaches and nags relentlessly. They are a pain in the ass.

While I was in the Philippines, I ate the diet of poor people. It's hormone and antibiotic free. The meat doesn't come from a feedlot. It's produced in the back yard. The food tastes better than supermarket food in the U.S.

I reject the label "environmentalist" because what it really means to the left is sticking your nose in other people's business. Ronald Reagan was right. When people get wealthy, they become concerned with their personal environment. The solution to purported environmental problems is increased wealth. The anti-business, anti-development hysteria of the environmentalists... well, you can have it.

We don't need food movements. In fact, we don't need movements, except for bowel movements. The best thing that all of our activists can do is to go home and shut up. They're just bored. Most of them could use a job that takes up more of their energy.

And, Michael, I apologize for saying this, but the self-interest of your business obscures everything. As a writer, you like controversy because controversy sells stuff. That doesn't necessarily mean that the fluffed up controversy is of any consequence. Those activists became activists because they love seeing their pictures in the newspaper.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on August 1, 2008 6:11 AM

I feel about the Slow Food movement like I do about the Wagner Society. While I am an enthusiastic consumer of the products they promote like Jamon iberico, rare fruit species and Lohengrin, there’s just something about the leaders and members that keep me from saying “sign me up.”

I would prefer a culinary movement that simply denigrated bad ideas like vegetarianism, hummus as the main food in a party, Rachel Rayism and adult women obsessed with cupcakes.

This movement would push for, among many other things, raw milk cheese and milk, wild game being available in food stores and restaurants during fall to early spring, real tapenade made with anchovies, a pro choice tobacco law for taverns and restaurants, the demystification of pie crusts, and shrimps sold with the heads on.

If members bring up Michael Pollan or Eric Schlosser they will be immediately asked to buy the ingredients for and cook a medium rare steak with béarnaise or mirabeau sauce, or mashed potatos or spaghetti carbonara, and if either three are up to snuff they can stay in the club. If not, buh-bye.

Posted by: CL on August 1, 2008 10:55 AM

When I lived in SoCal in the 80's, I had friends who were part of the original hippie movement of the 60's. Their belief was that people should be left alone to do their own thing. It was also the era of Stewart Brand's "Access to Tools" and Whole Earth Quarterly. The more forward thinking hippies of the 60's founded the L-5 Society in the mid 70's.

The hippies were a reaction to the conformity of the 50's and the perceived pushiness of corporate America of the 60's.

The hippies of the 60's seem to have morphed into their opponents. I'm not sure what poetic justice I should read in this.

I agree that hormone and antibiotic free meat tastes MUCH better.

Posted by: kurt9 on August 10, 2008 1:00 PM

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