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Turkish fast food: Real food fast

18 - September - 2007

The world obesity epidemic and nutritional concerns about fast foods in the West have forced companies to re-think their recipes, to offer alternatives and provide detailed nutritional information about their products. The majority of small shops and corner stalls offer a dazzling array of sweets, chocolates, packets of crisps and cans of sugary drinks. Rarely can one find a simple bread ring coated in sesame seeds, a man standing behind a barrow of juicy cucumbers, grilled corn or boiled chestnuts roasting over a fire – as you do in Istanbul. Fast food in Turkey has for a long time been real food, fast. However, there are signs that this may change, once specialist shops and restaurants expand their offerings and outlets.

Slow Fish a great success

24 - August - 2007

The presence of the Region of Liguria at Slow Fish related to many aspects of the management policies of the regional administration, the laws concerning coastal zones and agriculture, the development of tourism linked to environmental sustainability and food and wine as well as to the ecosystems damaged by pollution and land erosion. The key themes emerged during the course of Slow Fish were the strong link between gastronomy and the environment. In particular, the significant participation of young people who showed high interest for the environment and the pleasures of taste were mentioned. After two editions, the project had already proved that it worked.

National Sea Change Task Force urges more flood studies

20 - August - 2007

He says sea change councils across Australia are queuing up to have the research done and it is crucial that the impacts of rising sea levels and storm surges are known as soon as possible. "I think the Government can put a lot more money into ramping up the capacity of CSIRO to take on the work like we're asking them to do, because the sooner we get this information, the sooner we have these models updated on a regular basis - then we will continue to be ahead of the game, but at the moment we are still running a little bit behind as far as I'm concerned," he said.

Treechangers change country culture

7 - August - 2007

. We need to make room for diversity. The same problems that many cities have seen with multi culturalism may be seen in rural towns as a result of increased diversity.

Western Australia leads OZ in managing seachange population explosion

12 - January - 2007

Seachangers are putting enormous strain on infrastructure in coastal towns along Australia's coastline. The Western Australian government is leading the way in development solutions to minimise the impact of the expanding populations. Not only are retirees flooding into coastal communities but increasingly more young families are making the change and moving to coastal towns in search of a slower lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and closer to nature and the community. The Australian government recognised the need to do something to lessen the impacts of the seachange phenomenon and in 2004 created the National Sea Change Taskforce which held its first major conference in South Australia last year. Western Australia shows a development model in its Margaret River region. Local boutique agriculture enterprises are harnessing the area's natural advantages and providing jobs. Local government councils are experimenting with higher-density developments such as single-storey, detached, multi-occupancy buildings.

Traditional fisheries in UK subject of Slow Movement discussions

12 - January - 2007

The River Fal oyster fishery in Cornwall, England is the subject of investigations by representatives of the slow food movement to understand why traditional fishery practices need to be preserved. Traditional oyster fishing contrasts with modern techniques. Oysters are traditionally harvested using oyster sailing boats whereas modern oyster harvesting uses haul-tow punts. Slow Food convivia hope to raise awareness of the importance of this unique traditional process, and to raise the international profile of oysters harvested in this way. A Slow Food representative said the Fal oyster was exceptional because of its taste, quality and the environmentally sound methods of production, history and the traditional links with local culture.

Relocation for residents of seachange community

12 - January - 2007

The Australian National Sea Change Taskforce which was set up in 2004 has identified the coastal communities in Kingborough as being vulnerable because of the recent growth spurt and services because local services and infrastructure has failed to keep up with demand. Without proper planning there will be environmental, social and economic degradation. One management strategy that has been suggested is for councils to use population caps. Local council representatives feel that population caps Kingborough would not be necessary because the municipality spanned a large area. The real problems the council faced were inadequate sewerage systems and infrastructure, and shortage of health care staff and facilities.

Downshifting in the UK

12 - January - 2007

The price of farmland has risen by 9percent in the past year, fuelled by a surge in the number of downshifters. A report released recently by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says that these downshifters include an influx of Irish farmers. Between April 1 and June 30 this year, approximately half of the land that was sold was sold to non-farmer individuals. One of the hot spots for these people is in the north-west especially on the outskirts of Manchester and Chester.

Vicarage the popular choice for downshifters in UK

12 - January - 2007

Figures from 2005 show 578 new priests, the highest number since 1980. The increase has been in the over 40s age group with this number increasing five-fold. While the under 30s have experienced a decline by 66 percent. It is not the low-income earners who are turning to the priesthood either. At the forefront of the boom are highly paid bankers, management consultants and at least one former pop star, many of whom were on six-figure incomes prior to downshifting. Although the church is delighted to see the move it is concerned about the ‘greying’ of the church.

Ambrosia a supporter of buying local

12 - January - 2007

Ambrosia has studied the success of small, local business alliances across the US and is convinced that locally owned business make a community a better place to live. During her research, Ambrosia found that there are many alliance initiatives across the US. An example is one in Oakland California which has representatives from various business districts meeting monthly, and every three months there is a conference in which all members and potential members can participate. This group works with members of city council, the chamber of commerce, city developers and other government officials.

Fuel prices impacts seachangers

12 - January - 2007

Dr Geoff Cockfield from USQ sees city residents who move to rural areas with their higher incomes and new skills are now being hit by soaring fuel prices. Many of these sea-and treechangers are commuting long distances and will feel the increases in fuel prices.

West coast of UK experiences soaring house prices

12 - January - 2007

Figures from Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, show that property in West Coast resorts has made the largest gains for all seaside towns over the past five years. Soaring prices have been driven by second-home buyers, people downshifting to live within sound of the waves and the renewed appeal of the bucket-and-spade holiday.

Cumberland Sausage Assn enters the Slow Food movement

12 - January - 2007

The tasty trio will be in Turin for the Salone del Gusto food festival. But instead of the "self-preservation society", they will be championing the Cumberland sausage preservation society. The aim of the trip by the Cumberland Sausage Association (CSA) is to promote their campaign to win EU-approved “Protected Geographical Indication” just like Parma Ham and Scotch Beef. This would mean that only producers in Cumbria would be able to call their sausages traditional Cumberland sausages and would have to abide by a strict meat content minimum. Austen Davies (pictured), chairman of the CSA, will be travelling with fellow members Peter Gott and John Anderson of Made in Cumbria. Mr Davies said: “The CSA has been accepted as a ‘community’ by the Slow Food movement, so we are going to introduce ourselves to other members and to promote the campaign for the Cumberland sausage. “We want to raise the profile of the association and gain credibility for our campaign.” The annual food festival in Turin is organised by the Slow Food movement which is dedicated to championing and conserving traditional foods. It is the largest specialist food fair in Europe and is expected to attract 150,000 visitors between October 26 and 30. Full story at: http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/familylife/viewarticle.aspx?id=421941

South of France popular with UK downshifter families

12 - January - 2007

Earlier this year the magazine published a national survey on the best places to live in France. Using 42 indicators and official statistics, it allocated points for categories including climate, infrastructure, cultural and educational facilities. One of the five departments that make up the Languedoc region, the Herault came second out of 95 French departments in overall results. According to figures released bt the departmental tourist office, the Herault attracts over 1,000 newcomers a month, but these are not just young people. Many older people from UK and Paris in particular are attracted to the area, seeking sunshine and a wide range of leisure activities for their retirement.

Massive support for Slow Food conference

12 - January - 2007

The figures show a significant increase over the last edition in 2004, with 21 percent more visitors on the first day, 30 percent on the second and 15 percent on the third.

Brits dream of the good life

12 - January - 2007

Downshifters are becoming lifeshifters. Lifeshifters exchange the high speed, high gratification lifestyle for a slower paced, less materialistic one. These aspirations are not just for the soon to be retired. More and more young people and families are increasing seeking to leave the rat race. Three years ago, 53 percent of people said they would consider downshifting or had already don so. To day the figure has risen to 61 percent.

UK country towns popular

12 - January - 2007

A survey by Prudential reported that 60 percent of the UK population would consider relocating to a cheaper area within the British Isles, or would move abroad to lessen their stress levels and increase their leisure time. Almost 40 percent would be happy to take a pay cut without a geographical move in return for more leisure hours, the survey found. Prudential says, this points to a new culture of ‘lifeshifting’ where the exchange of a high speed, high gratification lifestyle for an easy existence is no longer viewed as a cop-out but more of an aspiration. The popularity of market towns means they may no longer be a cheap option for the average person. The inflation of market town prices is not evenly spread across the country with the most popular areas in the south of England with six of the ten most expensive market towns in the south-east.

Food miles and organic food

12 - January - 2007

Organic food is not just about the chemicals that go into our food production systems. It is also about such things as food miles. The emphasis in 2007 is on buying local. This principle supports small farmers and the environment. Buying fruit and vegies at the increasing number of neighbourhood farmer’s markets, will obviously benefit the local growers and the environment. Not only does the food not travel thousands of kilometres to get to the consumers but the consumers usually travel from a narrow radius and often travel on foot. The produce at farmers’ markets is less packaged, more fresh and usually riper when picked than produce that travels hundreds or thousands of kilometres to reach the supermarket shelves. Although the range of produce at a farmers’ market may be narrower than found in a supermarket, it is in season in the consumers bioregion. This has psychological and health benefits.

Age doesn’t mean better financial management skills

12 - January - 2007

They seem to close a financial blind eye to the reality that awaits them. One such reality is rising medical and health costs and the health issues that will face them. Joe Coughlin, founding director of the AgeLab, calls this the Longevity Paradox. Coughlin sees the issues raised by our increased life span as far-reaching. “Longevity is now something that is an endless frontier for us on a personal level, on a public level and on a research level,” he says. To weather the latter years requires financial planning but there is little or no communication on financial issues. Getting people to talk about realistic expectations of future income and expenses looms large among the goals of retirement planners. There are two special hazards for people approaching retirement. The first is the risk that people will favour their children over themselves, and attempt to make sure the children are will taken care of. The second applies mostly to women, who often bear the brunt of care for aged parents. In these circumstances women will often quit employment to care for family members thus sacrificing their financial future.

Age doesn’t mean better financial management skills

12 - January - 2007

They seem to close a financial blind eye to the reality that awaits them. One such reality is rising medical and health costs and the health issues that will face them. Joe Coughlin, founding director of the AgeLab, calls this the Longevity Paradox. Coughlin sees the issues raised by our increased life span as far-reaching. “Longevity is now something that is an endless frontier for us on a personal level, on a public level and on a research level,” he says. To weather the latter years requires financial planning but there is little or no communication on financial issues. Getting people to talk about realistic expectations of future income and expenses looms large among the goals of retirement planners. There are two special hazards for people approaching retirement. The first is the risk that people will favour their children over themselves, and attempt to make sure the children are will taken care of. The second applies mostly to women, who often bear the brunt of care for aged parents. In these circumstances women will often quit employment to care for family members thus sacrificing their financial future.

Added benefits of downshifting

12 - January - 2007

Most people who downshift experience improving health and wellbeing. For those who take the route of voluntary simplicity and decide of their own accord to slow down their pace of life and reduce their stress levels, miraculously, it seems, health issues suddenly seem to become less of a problem.

Slow clothes movement

12 - January - 2007

But buying local has also hit the fashion scene. Once seen as frumpy or mediocre, the slow clothes movement has now made it desirable to be seen in a local label garment. Some local designers even say that where ‘handmade’ used to lower the garment’s value now it raises it. What motivates shoppers to buy local? For some the motivation is sustainability. For others, it is because local products are higher quality and cooler. Therefore localness is more than a single-faceted, quickly stale trend.

Australian coastline to be urbanised

12 - January - 2007

The state of the environment report has been tabled in Federal Parliament. This change is unprecedented and will change the very nature of the coast.

Now there is slow craft

6 - January - 2007

She said there was a return to the act of slow art with care taken in the slow process. Cate visited eleven graduate shows to find artwork for the exhibition. “When I started researching contemporary design, I was interested in looking at this theme of intercultural exchange (but) when I started going to these graduate shows, I was amazed at the number of emerging artists who were engaging with these traditional practices and putting contemporary spin on them.” “I kind of felt like they were bailing out of this big commercial sector that the art world can be, and instead choosing to just create works for pleasure – where the actual process was the pleasure of it. I found it really extraordinary that there was such a prevalence of that. I guess it’s just the climate we’re moving into: slow movement art, like slow movement food.”

Mackay makes the top ten list

6 - January - 2007

A new study by Bernard Salt, puts Andergrove along side Jubilee Pocket near Airlie Beach, Meikleville near Yeppoon and the town of Australind, Western Australia, which was placed as the most ideal sea change location. The locations were identified as aspirational places where people are upbeat, where the prices of houses are rising, income is rising and unemployment is falling. Mr Salt believed Andergrove could thank the mining boom for making the town an idyllic sea change location.

Retirement is not a single point in time

6 - January - 2007

A lot of people envirion retirement as an abrupt change from work to play, but a new study by the Vanguard Group in the US has found that it is more likely to take the form of a gradual transition from a full-time job to full-time leisure. The study found six out of 10 people in the U.S. say their retirement plans include part-time of full-time work. The study involved a survey of 2500 adults between 40 and 69 years of age. It seems most people have a strategy for making the transition from work to retirement by downshifting. Almost 25 percent of respondents who were aged over 55 years reported downshifting at least once, and 40 percent expected to do so in the future.

Mackay makes the top ten list

6 - January - 2007

A new study by Bernard Salt, puts Andergrove along side Jubilee Pocket near Airlie Beach, Meikleville near Yeppoon and the town of Australind, Western Australia, which was placed as the most ideal sea change location. The locations were identified as aspirational places where people are upbeat, where the prices of houses are rising, income is rising and unemployment is falling. Mr Salt believed Andergrove could thank the mining boom for making the town an idyllic sea change location.

Retirement is not a single point in time

6 - January - 2007

A lot of people envirion retirement as an abrupt change from work to play, but a new study by the Vanguard Group in the US has found that it is more likely to take the form of a gradual transition from a full-time job to full-time leisure. The study found six out of 10 people in the U.S. say their retirement plans include part-time of full-time work. The study involved a survey of 2500 adults between 40 and 69 years of age. It seems most people have a strategy for making the transition from work to retirement by downshifting. Almost 25 percent of respondents who were aged over 55 years reported downshifting at least once, and 40 percent expected to do so in the future.

How fast can fast food be

6 - January - 2007

The US fast food industry places a major focus on finding ways to make drive-through more efficient. For fast food companies, drive-through accounts for up to 65 percent of business.

Evangelists of 'slow travel' hurry to spread their gospel

6 - January - 2007

For the most part, slow travel involves swapping fast but polluting planes for trains, buses, cargo ships, bicycles - anything but flying. It has deliberate echoes of the slow food movement, the antidote to fast food. Although it does have an environmental impact, followers of slow travel say it is also about 'luxuriating' in the experience of the journey. Last week, the long-haul travel operator Kuoni said its average holidays increased last year from 13 to 14.5 days, and more than half its customers stayed away for longer, 'reflecting the urge for people to return to spending more relaxing time', the company said. For its followers, slow travel is the natural evolution of slow food - people choosing farmers' markets over supermarkets, for example - born of a renewed interest in quality of experience over the modern pressures to have more, bigger and faster. There is even now an emerging 'slow cities' network. 'I care about the environment, but for me that's the least interesting thing about travelling without flying,' says Dan Kieran, deputy editor of Idler magazine, who travels with his partner Rachel and two-year-old son, Wilf. Kieran said the sounds and experiences were an essential part of travel, allowing people to make the transition to a new place or culture not just in body but in mind. He cited the example of getting a train to Poland for a stag weekend: during the course of his journey he shared his carriage with a goat and learnt that before him the journey had been made by people taken to Nazi concentration camps. Gillespie, who co-founded a 'communications agency' specialising in sustainability, Futerra, will catalogue his year-long trip on lowcarbontravel.com. He will also pay to 'offset' his carbon with a company called Climate Care, which calculates that the trip will generate just one-seventh of the CO2 of flying the same route. 'There's a luxury and exclusive element to it as well,' Gillespie said of slow travel. 'I want to spark the fires of imagination. The enjoyment can start the minute you leave the front door.' David Rennie, a retired engineer, gave up flying 17 years ago because of his concern about pollution, and now takes the train to visit friends in Denmark and Austria. 'There's this constant buzz,' said Rennie. 'You get a chance to practise the language, you're meeting a cross-section of people and you can look out of the window.' Critics of slow travel claim that few people have the time or the money to indulge themselves: long-distance rail is not just inevitably slower, but often more expensive, and harder to arrange. Others say slow travel requires a fundamental change to the way we live. 'Research about what delivers long-lasting wellbeing is only now finding its way through to the public consciousness,' said Andrew Simms, policy director of the New Economics Foundation thinktank. 'The more that happens, the more you'll see a cultural, economic and social change.' Juliette Jowit, transport editor Sunday January 28, 2007 The Observer Read this story and others on www.observer.guardian.co.uk Sea changers still growing in numbers Baby boomers continue to seek the idyllic sea change. Agents and property experts in the U.S. have tipped 2007 to be the year of lifestyle. As the baby boomers enter retirement in the coming years sea change is a phenomenon that is likely to increase. However sea change is not always successful. For many people it means going further into debt, and having a worse lifestyle than before the sea change.

Slow Food comes to students

1 - January - 2007

Supporters of ‘slow food’ encourage people to take the time to make their meals, make healthy choices and support local grows and the organic industry. Members of the Thunder Bay Country Market set up tables in the Agora, displaying the variety of healthy food grown locally. As well as vegetables and produce, fish, baked goods, international foods and information was available at the fresh food market. Representatives of the Slow Food Superior group say university and college age students are an ideal target audience. As part of the effort to promote slow food, a shuttle bus will soon make regular weekend trips to take university and college students to the country market.

Wellington to become UK ‘Food Town’

1 - January - 2007

The council’s chairperson Dave Mitton said the idea of establishing Wellington as a Food Town would involve it becoming the outlet for local food producers and being developed as a place known for the excellence of its food and drink. Cllr Mitton said individuals and businesses could be encouraged to become part of the Slow Food movement which would complement the Food Town plans, a food festival and Cittaslow.

Western Australia struggling with Sea Change populations

1 - January - 2007

Spokesperson for the National Sea Change Taskforce said experience on the east coast suggests it is better for development to occur where there is already existing infrastructure such as water and sewerage. This reduces both the economic and environmental costs associated with population growth.

Slow Food taking off in New Zealand

1 - January - 2007

New Zealanders are not immune to the rising rate of diabetes, food disorders and food related health problems. One woman Nelle Rose was among those who signed up. She now produces as much of her own food as possible. What she can’t produce she sources locally from independent shops – resorting to supermarkets only for those essential foods she cannot grow or find locally. Nelle doesn’t believe it is the cost of organic food that deters people from purchasing it. People who claim they don’t have enough money still spend $3 on a packet of chips or $4 for a latte without giving too much thought. This money would be better spent on organic food.

Slow and Steady – University students find another way

1 - January - 2007

Stuck in a whirlwind of exams, meetings and balancing social engagements, it is easy for University students to feel stressed and overwhelmed. A new movement centered on "going slow" promises to be just the break students need and can easily be applied to anyone's life. The "go slow" movement centers on the belief that students often feel scatterbrained in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and should take time out for themselves. Quieting the mind and being aware of one's surroundings are main components of the movement. Margaret Odahowski, the current director of studies for the International Residence College, teaches a University seminar entitled "Mindfulness and Social Change," which centers on the going slow movement. "In our fast paced culture, it seems counterintuitive to slow down to get more accomplished," she explained. Slowing down, however, proves to have many benefits. According to Odahowski, slowing down will increase concentration, boost energy, multiply happiness and improve health. How does one begin the process of "going slow"? One avenue is through the practice of meditation and yoga. It is no surprise that yoga has increased in popularity in recent years, with the Aquatics and Fitness Center now offering several classes. Yoga, which literally means "union" in Sanskrit, "creates a separate, peaceful place where you don't have to worry about grades, appearance or failure," Jeannette Payne, a yoga instructor at Studio 206 on the Downtown Mall, said. Yoga combines a series of stretches designated to focus on concentration and the importance of breathing. Payne, like so many people, was a constant worrier for years until she discovered yoga. "I was able to find my inner quietude and calm," she said. "I still get worried about things, but I know I can always come back to yoga." Although yoga has been embraced by millions because of its health and weight-loss benefits, to those who practice it, it has become so much more. "It's not just about losing weight," Payne said. "You learn how to be in the now. It's a way to push yourself without worrying about winning a marathon or an outcome. It is all in the moment." Yoga is just one means to an end in slowing down fitness routines. Research proves that when our hearts beat at 70 to 75 percent of its maximum rate, we can burn the most fat. This can easily be achieved by jogging or power-walking. While it may seem that someone drenched in sweat after an intense run has burned more fat, the one resting on his or her yoga mat may have had the upper hand. Besides slowing down in that respect, a "slow food" movement has also been sweeping the world. Originated by the culinary writer Carlos Petrini, the movement calls for eating fresh, local, seasonal produce and eating leisurely to truly enjoy your meal. In other words, one should eat to enjoy themselves, not just stuff an empty stomach by racing through a drive-thru. Although a worldwide phenomenon, Charlottesville has also picked up this trend. Feast, an independently owned and operated grocery store located in the Main Street Market, sells cheeses, fruits, wines and many other products. The common thread in these products is that all products sold were made locally. Farmers come in daily with freshly ripened produce picked just hours earlier. The co-owner of Feast and University alumna Kate Collier said she strongly pushes the slow food movement and truly enjoying one's food. According to Collier, eating local foods helps the community and allows for a more enjoyable meal overall. Today, the average produce travels thousands of miles from countries such as Chile, while we could be enjoying produce grown just minutes away from Grounds. "It is important to know what you are eating and have a connection with your food," Collier said. Although Feast is a relatively new venture, for 33 years Charlottesville has been embracing local foods in the city's Farmer's Market. Every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. until noon, 90 to 100 merchants sell their local goods at the market. Customers can actually talk with the men and women responsible for their foods, and the market exudes a feeling of community. Instead of rushing around the supermarket to do grocery shopping before dinner, one can browse over 150 different kinds of peppers, for example, in which local farmers specialize. "There is no comparison on the taste," said Richard Harrison, a farmer who grows his tomatoes a few miles away on Rte. 29 and sells his produce at the Market. Full article can be found at: http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVArticle.asp?ID=28095&pid=1491

West coast of UK experiences soaring house prices

24 - December - 2006

Figures from Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, show that property in West Coast resorts has made the largest gains for all seaside towns over the past five years. Soaring prices have been driven by second-home buyers, people downshifting to live within sound of the waves and the renewed appeal of the bucket-and-spade holiday.

Fuel prices impacts seachangers

24 - December - 2006

Dr Geoff Cockfield from USQ sees city residents who move to rural areas with their higher incomes and new skills are now being hit by soaring fuel prices. Many of these sea-and treechangers are commuting long distances and will feel the increases in fuel prices.

Slow Food comes to students

24 - December - 2006

Supporters of ‘slow food’ encourage people to take the time to make their meals, make healthy choices and support local grows and the organic industry.Members of the Thunder Bay Country Market set up tables in the Agora, displaying the variety of healthy food grown locally. As well as vegetables and produce, fish, baked goods, international foods and information was available at the fresh food market. Representatives of the Slow Food Superior group say university and college age students are an ideal target audience. As part of the effort to promote slow food, a shuttle bus will soon make regular weekend trips to take university and college students to the country market.

Wellington to become UK ‘Food Town’

24 - December - 2006

The council’s chairperson Dave Mitton said the idea of establishing Wellington as a Food Town would involve it becoming the outlet for local food producers and being developed as a place known for the excellence of its food and drink. Cllr Mitton said individuals and businesses could be encouraged to become part of the Slow Food movement which would complement the Food Town plans, a food festival and Cittaslow.

Report on Seachange effects

22 - November - 2006

The Australian Sea Change Taskforce has commissioned a report by Sydney University's Planning Research Centre that calls for a national response to the problem. The seachange phenomenon has raised the following issues; protecting the environment, building infrastructure, maintaining community cohesion, providing education, healthcare, public transport and jobs. In many areas such as Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast the seachangers have forced retail prices up and low-income families to move out of the area. Noosa, along with a couple of other councils have resorted to population caps to stem rapid rises in demand for services and infrastructure. Other possible solutions include incentive schemes to encourage developers to protect environmentally fragile areas in exchange for more development leeway in other areas. Another idea is the creation of low, middle and high income housing in new developments to foster greater social diversity. The National Taskforce continues to meet to develop viable options.

Decline in food cooperatives in US.

22 - November - 2006

Coops started emerging as a real alternative to standard retail shopping in the 1960s. They began mushrooming all over the country. Organic and natural food products were difficult to come by. Groups of people would get together to order natural and organic food from a catalogue in bulk for the pricing. But as the popularity and availability of wholefoods and organic products grew and became more easily available, and therefore had lower prices, the membership of food-buying coops waned. The decline in food coops sees the disappearance of a local food system that has benefits far greater than just cheaper prices and availability of food products.

Microbreweries support local economies

22 - November - 2006

Microbreweries are sprouting in many areas. Local beer has been one of the most difficult aspects of the slow food menu to buy. So the rest of the meal can be wholesome, organic local produce and products, but the beer lets it all down. With more and more microbreweries it is becoming easier to buy local beer and to support local economies.

Local community struggles to re-green

22 - November - 2006

The community in Thunder Bay used to have good food security with more than 630 farms. But that was in 1911. As the economy began to improve people gave up growing their own vegetables and relied on shops to supply their food needs. They gave up their ability to provide for themselves. More and more imports started to appear in the shops with food coming from distant places. Today with an increasing awareness of the state of the environment and a lagging economy residents are returning to the ways of the past. Many are working on food security issues in a variety of ways, by providing emergency food, by growing or producing food, or by developing food action programs.

Low Head tops list for sea change in Australia

22 - November - 2006

The monthly magazine The Wish has published the 'top 10 most desirable towns for a sea change' and amongst them is a small seaside town on the north coast of Tasmania at the mouth of the Tamar River. The current population of Low Head is only 1000 and the town boasts deserted beaches and the quiet lifestyle that is sought after by many seachangers. Despite the town having no major services or retail strip a house recently sold for $700,000. The list of the top 10 was based on employment rates, housing affordability and demographic information obtained from Bernard Salt, the National Seachange Taskforce and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Slow food welcomes southern grits

22 - November - 2006

Grits have re-emerged in menus across the US as a result of the interest in traditional foods that follows the interest in the slow food movement. In the past, grits have gained a reputation for being unappetising and unappealing. But all that has changed. People in the South have considered grits to be true comfort food with a mild flavour, creamy texture and a real affinity for butter, cream and cheese, and now others are seeing this too. Grits is a coarsely ground dried corn that is served with other ingredients to really vamp them up. They are a traditional accompaniment for eggs and ham with gravy. Upmarket use includes sautéed salmon with onion-strewn grits or grits-filled morel mushrooms. For many of us a bowl of grits is best with lots of butter, salt and pepper or mixed with shredded cheese and garlic.

Slow food has an uphill battle in suburban US

22 - November - 2006

The annual survey by the Institute of Food Technologists of American eating trend has shown that fewer than a third of US households are making meals from scratch – this is a 7 percent decline from just two years ago. Another worrying finding is that while three-quarters of US people eat at home each night, the number of meals prepared in the home is very low – approximately half of food served at home is pre-prepared at fast-food outlets, restaurant take-aways, or at supermarket take-outs. This trend means the slow food movement has some real awareness raising to do to counter the prevailing values and expectations.

Tree-changers in for a big letdown

17 - October - 2006

In Victoria, Australia, many investors who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on rural blocks may not get the tree-change they desired. It is warned that the expensive blocks could be worth a tenth of their original price if the government goes ahead and rezones the areas. Under the new zoning by the State government housing is restricted on farm land. More than 500 local landowners in the central Victorian shire of Macedon Ranges are expected to protest against the regulations at the end of the month. Many rural shire councils welcomed the new zoning because it strikes the right balance between farmers' rights to farm, city tree-changers looking for a quiet life, and the need to protect these environmentally sensitive areas.

Two Welsh towns vie to win slow food capital status

17 - October - 2006

Two towns in Wales, the Flintshire town of Mold and The Carmarthenshire town of Llandeilo are bidding to be the slow food capital of Wales. Mold has started a campaign to enrol its population of 9500 in the international slow food campaign. Llandeilo's 2000 inhabitants already have an advantage with no fast-food outlets – only a traditional chip shop. Whereas Mold ahs a McDonald's.

Real estate prices reflect nation's movements

17 - October - 2006

Australia has always had a love affair with big cities and the beach. And this love affair is driving prices in the bigger cities and coastal towns. This mean much of the country's housing is unaffordable. According to a December report by the Reserve Bank of Australia, increasing urbanisation was the key issue driving Australia's lack of housing affordability. When we look at the US population distribution and see that in the two biggest cities, New York and Los Angeles, 9.9 percent of the US population live in these two cities. In contrast the two biggest cities in Australia, Sydney and Melbourne, are home to 36.4 percent of Australians. It is anticipated that the four biggest cities in Australia will increase their share of the population in the next 20 years. So will places like the Gold Coast and some regional areas on the eastern coast as downshifters seek seachange or treechange lifestyles. It is the weaker capital cities that will lose market share over this period.

Gay community seachanges to Tasmania

17 - October - 2006

The Australian seachange phenomenon is taking on a new slant with gay seachangers reportedly moving in droves from the mainland to Tasmania and particularly to the countryside of the state. Since early 2000 there has been a large influx of seachangers and treechangers with a large proportion of them gay and lesbian people. Tasmania was the last Australian state to legalise homosexual sex between men, and the recent influx of gay people has helped to change their attitude.

Sea Change research hits home

17 - October - 2006

The National Sea Change Taskforce's latest research on "Best Practice Sea Change Communities", documents the range of governance, environmental, community, economic and infrastructure challenges affecting 'sea change' councils nationally and internationally. The first phase of the research was released early last year and identifies the key social, economic and environmental planning issues facing coastal sea change communities in Australia Mandurah City Council has endorsed the latest report, which aims to provide councils and planning authorities with a best practice planning toolkit to address the issues.

Sea Change tsunami advancing west

17 - October - 2006

The rapid development of coastal towns along the Australian coastline has been likened to a tsunami as it advances further from the state capitals. People in Western Australia in the coastal area of Augusta-Margaret River Shire are no longer protected from the sea change phenomenon. The WA state government has announced the creation of 5800 housing lots for the area under the banner of 'growth'. The Augusta-Margaret River may suffer the fate of so many other coastal areas where sea changers arrive for the lifestyle that encompasses the scenic, natural, slow town, but they end up destroying the very thing that attracted them in the first place. Few local residents support the planned development and most consider the sense of place, the lifestyle quality and environment of the region to be under threat from the pressure from development proponents backed by pro-development government departments and local government.

Climate change will hit sea changers

17 - October - 2006

Local government councils will have to change their rules for development if they are to avoid massive inundations that will occur in low lying areas of some coastal communities. In Australia, Maroochy Shire Mayor Joe Natoli says: "Some of the local governments in our sea change areas are drawing the lines where some houses will be lost because of climate change and rising sea levels." The real problem is not with future development, which can be contained and constrained, but with existing development. Councils need to look at strategies to see what action is needed to protect these areas.

Release of fast food expose due for September

19 - June - 2006

More and more people are becoming aware of the rise of organic and biodynamic farming and the slow food movement. It is becoming mainstream and the wider public are becoming more health-conscious and aware of the moral and environmental consequences of factory animal farming. It is expected the issue will become even more hot with the release in Australia in September of the film Fast Food Nation which is a film about the appalling nature of America’s fast food production line. The film is sub titled The Truth is Hard to Swallow, and is based on Eric Schlosser’s 2001 book of the same name that looks at the practices used by hamburger manufacturers. The movie is a fresh blow for McDonalds which suffered considerably with the release of the film Super Size Me in 2004, about Morgan Spurlock’s health collapse after living on McDonald’s food for a month.

Downshifting has reached the Wikipedia.

19 - June - 2006

The entry on downshifting reads: Simple living (similar but not identical to voluntary simplicity or voluntary poverty) is a lifestyle individuals may pursue for a variety of motivations, such as spirituality, health, or ecology. Others may choose simple living for reasons of social justice or a rejection of consumerism. Some may emphasize an explicit rejection of "westernized values", while others choose to live more simply for reasons of personal taste, a sense of fairness or for personal economy. Simple living as a concept is distinguished from the simple lifestyles of those living in conditions of poverty in that its proponents are consciously choosing to not focus on wealth directly tied to money or restrictive, cash-based economics. Although asceticism may resemble voluntary simplicity, proponents of simple living are not all ascetics. The term "downshifting" is often used to describe the act of moving from a lifestyle of greater consumption towards a lifestyle based on voluntary simplicity.

UK Downshifters gaining numbers

19 - June - 2006

Workers in the UK are increasingly either quitting their stressful office jobs, or scaling down their working hours, to pursue the dream of doing something they really want to do. For some this means moving to a rural location – buying a small plot of land, growing vegetables, and living more sustainably. The number of downshifters in the UK has more than doubled in the past 10 years, with 60,000 people a year now leaving their jobs in mid-career to start new businesses in rural areas. The number of self-employed in Britain has increased by 80 percent in the past two decades to 14 percent of the workforce. For most people this desire to downshift is driven by a lack of challenge in their jobs, and a desire to have a greater quality of life for themselves and their family.

UK experiences drain from major cities

7 - June - 2006

It is expected that 200,000 families will downshift in the UK this year. This exodus will protect rural property hot spots, which have good links to major urban centres, from a downturn. The move is enhanced by the government and major companies drive to shift workers out of the South East region. Four of the UK's ten fastest growing cities are in the South West – a popular destination for downshifters. This region satisfies downshifters desire for fresh air, space for children to play, leafy views and a sense of community. The trend to downshift has been inspired by the BBC drama series Down to Earth.

Sea Change or suburbia change

7 - June - 2006

Some people are questioning whether seachangers are really sea changers or whether they are just exchanging one kind of suburbia for another. For example, some people in hope of a seachange move to the Gold Coast which has a population of 500,000 and end up in the suburbs some distance from the beach. Is this a seachange? Since a seachange is a change in approach to life rather than a move to the sea, then moving from one suburb to another that is closer to the beach can be as much of a seachange as moving to the beachfront. Seachange is a change in philosophy more than a change in geography. A new TV reality show called The Real Seachange is due to start in Australia in March and many of the questions about seachangers may come to the fore.

Seachange creates sewage problems

7 - June - 2006

The Marine and Coastal Community Network in Australia believes the growing trend of people moving to the coastal regions for a sea change is impacting the environment. One of the biggest challenges when trying to manage a fast growing population is dealing with more sewage. The Network's regional coordinator, Tony Flaherty says poor planning could ruin the very coasts people are flocking to. He said "One of the major problems we've had in South Australia that was identified back in 1993, almost 13 years ago, was the need for better sewerage and storm water treatments and the more run-off we get in to the marine environment the more problems we'll see." The taskforce believes it is important for all levels of government to work together to ensure coastal areas are not impacted by increasing populations.

Residents rally against seachangers

7 - June - 2006

The Bermagui community in New South Wales, Australia, are sick and tired of seachangers invading their community. More than 300 people attended a meeting to discuss the problems caused by the dramatic growth in population numbers in recent years. The town of Bermagui is famous for its fishing and beaches and is a popular destination for people making a seachange or downshifting. Its popularity has made it difficult of the local council to keep up with infrastructure including sewerage, water and roads. Residents wanted the council to increase headworks charges to developers in an attempt to discourage further development.

Buffer zone suggested for Seachange development

7 - June - 2006

In Australia the Victorian State government has announced a two-year coastal protection plan to create a 'no development' buffer zone between coast towns along the state's border. Even though some people consider the plan to fall far short of the promise to pass strict laws defining town boundaries in order to limit housing development in coastal areas, it is a step in the right direction. The plan was announced by Rob Hulls, Minister for Planning. The government has also decided to block a contentious 660-dwelling housing estate on the edge of the coastal town of Point Lonsdale, that was proposed by the developer Stockland. There are currently up to 20 proposed seaside golf courses that would be banned under the new plan.

Golfers fight back on seachange legislation

7 - June - 2006

The golfing community in Victoria, Australia has accused the government of waging a war on golf with its new coastal protection strategy which restricts coastal housing to within current town boundaries. There are approximately 20 coastal golf resorts planned that are affected by the legislation. Golfers who oppose the new regulation say the government's actions will limit tourism to these areas. Many of Victoria's coastal golf courses have established an international reputation and have government-based tourism strategies based around them.

Downshifting and seachanging has impact on IT industry

7 - June - 2006

Growing numbers of IT technologists are either opting out of the rat race and heading for the beach or are seeking a more harmonious balance of life activities. There is increasing demand for IT specialists because of the rate at which technology skills become outdated and because of the mounting need for people with hi-tech and business acumen. It seems that some larger coastal towns that are increasing in size are finding they do not have the shortage of IT specialists, as more and more specialists opt for a seachange.

Emigration from the countryside is on the increase

9 - October - 1973

You are not alone. Approximately 12 million Europeans have changed their life-styles over the past ten years for another, simpler form of living, which now has a name of its own. It’s called downshifting. The latest life-style phenomenon is principally a British invention – or at least, its name is. These are generally hard-working people between the ages of 35 and 40 who have decided they have had enough. Three million of them have downshifted so far, and the figure is rising. There are many ways to simplify one’s life-style, and one solution adopted by many is to abandon urban living for life in the countryside. A step further is to abandon urban life for the rural charms of another country, and many Brits, and quite a few Germans, have chosen to start all over again in Spain. The province of Cadiz is now one of their favoured destinations.

Slow travel - the low carbon alternative

1 - January - 1970

Ed Gillespie, who co-founded the sustainable communications agency Futerra, is planning a round-the-world trip to promote the idea of ‘slow travel’. He intends to travel solely by trains, buses and cargo ships, hoping, he says, 'to breath some life, fun and entertainment into the travel alternatives to flying in our increasingly carbon-constrained world.' The first leg of the trip, which begins in March, will be by ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, after which he plans to cross Europe by train to Moscow then on to Ulaan Baator on the Trans-Mongolian Express, through China and Japan and south-east Asia, then from container ship from Singapore to Australia and on to Los Angeles and Costa Rica before finally returning back to the UK by banana boat from Puerto Limon. Gillespie will be blogging about his year-long trip on lowcarbontravel.com. Following hot on the heels, in April, environmental boat designer Mukti Mitchell is to set off from North Devon on a five-month voyage around the British coast to promote ‘low carbon lifestyles’. Mukti plans to visit 40 ports, including Liverpool, Edinburgh and London, where he’ll hand out leaflets on how to live more sustainably. His trip is endorsed by a number of luminaries, including Prince Charles, James Lovelock, Jonathon Porritt, Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Dimbley. This story originally appeared on GreenTraveller www.greentraveller.co.uk

Slow Food Market in Melbourne to support farmers

1 - January - 1970

Working with the Country Fire Authority, the market organisers are urging locals and visitors to come down to the market, make a donation to the Victorian Farmers Federation Disaster Relief Fund and fill up their baskets with seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and all sorts of other produce. The market is held at the Abbotsford Convent on the fourth Saturday of every month at St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, just off Johnson Street, from 8am-1pm. Polluted food in China turns many to organic Wang Xinqiu is prepared to pay 10 times more for organic vegetables than for regular produce in Beijing. It buys her peace of mind. "Organic food seems safer," Wang, a practitioner of Chinese medicine, said after selecting organic cabbage and ginger at a Carrefour SA supermarket as her daughter, 8-year-old Maria, tagged along. "A big reason I buy organic is I'm concerned that my child could eat something contaminated." Chinese are buying organically grown food, as pesticides, pollution and fakes - including lard made from sewage and grease - infiltrate the food chain. More than 60 percent of the country's 562 million city dwellers are willing to pay more for produce certified safe or organic, according to research commissioned by the Ministry of Commerce. Story by Duen Lawrence, Bloomberg News. from The Journal News