Slow Food Barbados — A New Movement
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment…Slow Food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature.
Those are the words of Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food. This organization aims to reduce the amount of food that is imported into countries all over the world, while supporting local farms, chefs and other small scale producers. It is a movement that seeks to encourage persons to “eat local.” Slow Food defines the quality of fresh, and wholesome, food by these three principles:
- GOOD – A fresh, flavourful, seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is an aspect of the local culture.
- CLEAN – food that is produced in harmony with the environment and human health; i.e. food production and consumption that does not cause harm to the environment, animal welfare or to human health.
- FAIR – food that is affordable and thus easily accessible for all consumers, as well as conditions and pay that are fair for small scale producers.
This initiative was founded in 1989 in an attempt to curtail the decreasing prominence of local food traditions, individuals’ lack of interest in the origins of the food they eat and the general impact of food choices on the wider global environment. Additionally, it was a movement designed to counteract fast food and fast life.
The Slow Food association consists of over 100,000 members from over 150 countries grouped into local chapters who work together to revive their local culinary culture. These local chapters (also known as The Convivia) organize events and activities within their respective counties to push the Slow Food movement.
The Barbados Chapter was founded in September 2012 (making the island the 161st nation to sign on to the Slow Food Movement) through a partnership with the local Organic Growers and Consumers Association. The movement was formed in Barbados out of a concern of the increased regularity of food imports, a passion for good quality food and a need to reconnect farmers with the community. It was acknowledged that buying locally helps to support the local economy, while subsequently reducing Barbados’ food import bill by approximately $500 million per year. By doing this, the demand and use of local food would increase, and this increase in demand would also subsequently decrease the cost of local food.
The aim of the Barbados chapter is to reconnect persons in the island with the key aspects in food production: the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters. The organization also aims to protect the rich heritage, traditions and culture that food makes possible. A key initiative of the Chapter is to revive youths’ interest in food, while providing them with the knowledge about where the food they eat comes from.
Other goals of the movement include educating individuals about food, protecting the environment through creation of gardens and their seed programme and connecting chefs and farmers to each other and the wider community. These goals are achieved through several of Slow Food Barbados initiatives:
- Slow Fish – the official Slow Food campaign for sustainable fisheries, aiming to promote sustainable fishing methods.
- Educational Gardens – Slow Food works with 12 schools throughout the year to train students, teachers and a created garden committee on how to grow good, clean and fair food and help them create their own gardens.
- Chef Alliance – seeks to promote locally based chefs to actively champion small scale producers and promote good quality, local and sustainably produced food.
- Slow Cinema – monthly movie night that aims to enhance to knowledge of the environment, food system and production methods in Barbados.
- Farm to Table – a dining experience featuring chefs and restaurants that share the core principles and values of Slow Food Barbados. The meals feature the best of locally harvested food.
- Farm to Chef – a traditional outdoor marketplace that seeks to connect locals and visitors with farmers and chefs.
- The Snail of Approval – Slow Food Barbados’ way of recognising the producers, co-producers and donors that make significant contributions to the transformation of the national food system of Barbados.
- Terra Madre – Slow Food Intentional Day (December 10th) seeks to bring awareness to the local network of food communities who seek to promote a new food culture consistent with the aims of Slow Food Barbados.
For more information, contact Slow Food Barbados at
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© Article of caribbeandreamsmagazine.com