Slow Food was started in Italy by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists in the 1980s with the initial aim to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life.
The Slow Food international movement officially began when delegates from 15 countries endorsed the Slow Food Manifesto, on December 10, 1989 (see next column).
Today Slow Food represents a global movement involving thousands of projects and millions of people in over 160 countries working to ensure that everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.
INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR THE DEFENSE OF AND THE RIGHT TO PLEASURE
Born and nurtured under the sign of Industrialisation, this century first invented the machine and then modelled its lifestyle after it. Speed became our shackles. We fell prey to the same virus: 'the fast life' that fractures our customs and assails us even in our own homes, forcing us to ingest “fast- food”.
Homo sapiens must regain wisdom and liberate itself from the 'velocity' that is propelling it on the road to extinction. Let us defend ourselves against the universal madness of 'the fast life' with tranquil material pleasure.
Against those - or, rather, the vast majority - who confuse efficiency with frenzy, we propose the vaccine of an adequate portion of sensual gourmandise pleasures, to be taken with slow and prolonged enjoyment.
Appropriately, we will start in the kitchen, with Slow Food. To escape the tediousness of "fast-food", let us rediscover the rich varieties and aromas of local cuisines.
In the name of productivity, the 'fast life' has changed our lifestyle and now threatens our environment and our land (and city) scapes. Slow Food is the alternative, the avant-garde’s riposte.
Real culture is here to be found. First of all, we can begin by cultivating taste, rather than impoverishing it, by stimulating progress, by encouraging international exchange programs, by endorsing worthwhile projects, by advocating historical food culture and by defending old-fashioned food traditions.
Slow Food assures us of a better quality lifestyle. With a snail purposely chosen as its patron and symbol, it is an idea and a way of life that needs much sure but steady support.
The Slow Food international headquarters are located in Bra (Italy). It is from here, that the association plans and promotes the development of the network and its projects worldwide. Carlo Petrini is the President of Slow Food.
At the local level, groups known as convivia (plural for convivium) coordinate activities and organise events in cities, towns and communities around the world. There are over 1,500 convivia worldwide.
Slow Food is also:
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity: founded in 2003 to support Slow Food projects that defend food biodiversity and traditions.
Terra Madre Foundation: founded in 2004 to support the growth of a global network of food communities, chefs, academics and youth working for a sustainable food system.
University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG): opened in 2004 to educate future food professionals.
For a more comprehensive understanding of Slow Food International, please refer to: