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Slow Movement News

Turkish fast food: Real food fast

The definition of ‘fast food’ according to the Wikipedia is food cooked in build and in advance, kept warm or re-heated to order....

Slow Fish a great success

Slow Food in collaboration with the region of Liguria, has just finished celebr4ating the event Slow Fish 2007. It was a great success with 42,000 visitors, a much higher number than expected. ...

National Sea Change Task Force urges more flood studies

ABC Wed Jul 11 07 The Mayor of Maroochy Shire on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Joe Natoli, says it could be another 12 months before the CSIRO is able to undertake a flood modelling study in the Sunshine Coast region because the research body is under-funded. ...

Treechangers change country culture

An influx of treechangers into a rural community can keep population levels steady but it can change the needs and expectations within the community. ...

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Why buy locally grown or produced food?

One of the main ways we can support our bioregion, local community, and at the same time connect to our food is to purchase locally grown organic food.  Food plays a large part in our life and is one of the basic necessities.  When we bring the principles of the slow movement into this area of life we encourage others to do the same.

When we buy locally grown organic fruit and vegetables we are buying food that is living in the same bioregion as us.  This is the food that is right for our bodies – we are in the same climatic and microclimatic area and, as part of the same small ecosystem this food is ‘right’ for our bodies.  It is not as good for us to eat food that comes from a completely different climate and season.  Mangoes in winter and apples in summer are usually out of the natural rhythm of our bodies.  Our food needs to be in tune with the seasonal clocks within all of us.

Food miles are an important factor to consider when we look at which food is best.  Food that is grown in our bioregion is transported only 100-200 kilometres at most, instead of the current average of 2,300kilometres.  Not only is the local food in the same climatic area, it is also fresher and the environmental costs involved in transportation are reduced. 

When we buy food locally, and especially when we buy it through a local community food system, we feel a greater connection to our food – this enhances the whole experience of food preparation and eating.  When children are a part of this process they also have a greater connection to food and have a greater understanding of where it comes from.

Buying within our bioregion also supports local organic farmers.  And the economic benefit to the farmers has flow-on effects to the wider community.  Food and agriculture related businesses are more likely to thrive, resulting in stronger community economies through job creation, and recirculating financial capital in the community.  Agriculture related businesses include food processing, or value-adding processing that increases the opportunities for locally produced food to be consumed locally.

The slow movement is a moral movement that is based on an understanding of the interconnected nature of all things.  As part of the slow movement the focus is on sustainable practices.  When we talk of food the focus is on organic, traditional food.  By supporting organic farming in our bioregion there are fewer farm chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers in our community’s environment.

Supporting local organic producers also helps spread the ethos of sustainable living and other ‘Green’ businesses that may not be related to the food industry flourish.

Another benefit of supporting locally-based companies is that it encourages the formation of co-operatives, collectives and other forms of worker and consumer ownership of companies.  These kinds of local economy systems encourage accountability between producer and consumer. 

What are the arguments for maintaining local shops?

Many of us who grew up when there was little reason for a slow movement – it was a way of life – remember corner shops as the only way to buy food, groceries, and household needs.  We can remember our awe at the development of the first ‘shopping centres’ which appeared to be huge and to carry every conceivable product we may need or want.  We thought they were the best thing since sliced bread.  But how wrong we were.

The growth of shopping centres and supermarket chain outlets has seen the sharp decline in smaller businesses and produce and food outlets and ‘corner shops’ in suburbs and towns across the world. 

When the small retailers are lost from an area, more is lost than choice of outlet.  The natural interdependence of small retailers, producers and consumers creates a dense social network that provides employment, quality products, merchandise, food and wider social benefits.  These shops are often the social centres of some communities.