Slow food means taking your time and consciously cultivating the culture of eating and drinking from shopping to preparation – because buying and appreciating food made with love is not only good for our health, but also for the environment.

Slow food also includes promoting products that are not only tasty and well made, but also come from responsible and fair agriculture: animal welfare, water conservation, economical use of artificial fertilizers, no genetic engineering, fair wages and safe working conditions just as much about slow food as regional traditions and products.

Slow food – conscious shopping for more enjoyment

Honestly: Actually we know that a fresh apple from a local meadow tastes better than an ever imported and chilled one – but the latter is in a six-pack at the discounter and our convenience gives us access. Slow Food is opposed to this kind of convenience when it comes to choosing and preparing our food – instead of satisfying our hunger as quickly and easily as possible, we should occasionally take the time to consciously buy and prepare regional, seasonal, healthy products. Conscious shopping is not only good for your health, it also helps to promote regional agriculture, preserve native species and support the local baker or butcher – so you can also set an example with your own shopping.

Slow food – good, clean and fair

According to its own definition, slow food is “a worldwide association of conscious connoisseurs and responsible consumers who have set themselves the task of cultivating and keeping the culture of eating and drinking alive.” In addition, “Slow Food promotes responsible agriculture and fishing, animal welfare, the traditional food trade and the preservation of the regional variety of flavors.” Slow Food is a non-profit organization.

Slow Food’s philosophy can also be summed up simply as “good, clean and fair” – food should taste and be harmless to health, it should be produced without harm to people, the environment and animals and food producers should be fairly rewarded.

From the Slow Food Youth to the Ark of Taste

In addition to private supporters of Slow Food, numerous restaurants are also committed to Slow Food and maintain the culinary culture of their region: bakeries bake bread without additives and flavor enhancers, and winegrowers grow old varieties instead of planting the latest trends. There are slow food fairs in numerous cities, for example the market of good taste in Stuttgart, and other activities of the movement for slow food: For example, the Youth Food Movement, in which young people discover the interest in conscious enjoyment and slow food.

Living Slow Food: Schnippeldisco & Co.

Slow Food Youth is the Slow Food youth movement and among other things it organizes campaigns to draw attention to unnecessary food waste. One example is the Schnippeldisco, for which vegetables are collected from farmers and cooked together – the special thing is that the vegetables were actually already dedicated to the garbage can: crooked cucumbers and two-legged carrots, the only offense of which is that they do not correspond to the standard sizes . Another project worthy of support from the Slow Food movement founded by Carlo Petrini is the ark of taste, whose aim is to preserve biodiversity and regionally valuable and unique foods. The regional slow food groups are called convivia – look for the slow food convivium in your area and inform yourself about the next events!

Slow Food – join in!

Do you learn again that slow and conscious can also be right and slow food is simply good for you! Join the Slow Food Convivium in your area, find out about the ark of taste and above all: take some time to shop and cook! In the recipe section you will find recipes that take time – but also taste all the better for that.

Interview with Hendrik Haase

Interview with Hendrik Haase, food activist, slow food member and ambassador for Ahle Wurscht – also known as sausage bag

What made you take part in slow food?

Culture of indulgence and the search for better foods that are not only organic but also well made. There is a principle at Slow Food: Good, clean and fair – I found that very exciting. What is culinary culture here, what is grown here, what is produced here. I discovered Slow Food because there was also a specialty in my family, the Ahle Wurscht, which I tried to rediscover and that’s why I came across the ark of taste of Slow Food.

So you were primarily concerned with combining the political element with enjoyment?

Exactly, it doesn’t help to say: the main thing is organic and then it will be good somehow. It must also taste good and be well made. It is not enough to say: we do not use pesticides. It’s also about treating those who make it fairly.
Apart from slow food, few people manage to create an exciting connection between delicious food and political elements. Hardly any NGO can do that, because you usually take care of an individual aspect and forget the details.

And how can you get your fellow human beings to join in without raising your index finger? It is of course always more practical to go to the supermarket and buy your sausage there.

There is a principle of Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food: “Shake the hand that feeds you.” That may sound pathetic, but it is exactly that: Establishing contact with those who take care of your nutrition.
You can just start with a product. If you pick out a little something and say: “This also has to do with me”, one thing to another often comes afterwards – a good start into a world that gradually opens up to you. Whether you like wine or sausage or butter – at Slow Food you will find people who are just as crazy and can recommend the best butter from your region. For me it is a little luck. When eating, you have to find what makes you happy.

And how can you mobilize those who don’t yet know slow food?

In order to mobilize even more people, it is always good to take action where you have the chance to experience something. Cooking soup with 700 people or creating other moments where you can join in without being a sausage expert or a wine expert.
It is not possible to convince people about giving up or using a whip. Not with the message: I’m angry, I’m a climate offender, I shop in the supermarket. None of this works, but when I show you something special for the first time that you won’t find in a supermarket, you will consider whether it is sometimes cooler to take the extra route or to take it To make extra effort.

For example, it would be a bad idea to say: you should eat less meat? Or can you also do a bit of missionary work?

It’s easier to eat less meat if you know what’s good – but that’s the second round for me. Of course we can’t eat so much meat – but you have to know the consequences. As Slow Food activists, we demonstrate with 30,000 people and say “We’re fed up” because we also know the slaughterhouses where 400,000 chickens or 15,000 pigs are slaughtered a day. Of people who are exploited. Only with less meat consumption can we achieve a better quality – you cannot keep as many animals as they should be. But I would rather go there and say: We will find more vegetables first – then you will have less meat on your plate. And better meat: it might cost more but the animal lived four times as long and had a completely different diet than the cattle that eat GM soy. It is always better not to emphasize the exclusion, but the positive increase – with pleasure, you are more likely to get people to eat less meat.

Do you see any first progress? Do people start buying from the butcher around the corner if there is one?

If you look at all the mirror covers and horror documentaries – I think there are more and more people who say: “I’m fed up with that, I’m not eating meat anymore, I’m going to be vegan.” But there are also more and more people who say : “It can’t be now to always say: Nope, I don’t want anymore. My grandmother has already eaten meat and my parents, there was still a butcher. ”There I also see the first young people who are going in the same direction, who are beginning to regain these things. Maybe we will get a new generation of butchers or bakers in Germany – where people who are actually not bakers but have studied business or German studies suddenly open a bakery.

But don’t you always reach the same people? Do the majority of people really shop differently?

I don’t know whether more people will actually buy organic meat – the hard numbers show that the organic share of pork is currently 0.6%. 99.4% therefore still eat the 08/15 pork from factory farming, cut up by Romanians who no longer have a passport and are exploited. So you can paint in black – but I notice this change in mood, that something is turning, I have hope. The big corporations also notice that the pressure is increasing. Simply because people are becoming increasingly aware of where slaughterhouses and fattening facilities are – millions of pigs live in Germany.

What would be your perfect utopia? That there is no longer a large agricultural industry? Or at least under more humane conditions?

This is a very popular accusation from representatives of the big industries: that I was a very romantic person and wanted everyone to ride horses to work again and everything was only done by hand. But unfortunately I have to disappoint: I have a very realistic idea.
But how do you feed 9 billion people? If I tell you now how much effort it takes to grow potatoes in the desert and then transport them to us in the supermarkets – it cannot be. I do believe that we need machines and modern agriculture. I also believe that there needs to be a lot more dialogue with representatives of the agricultural industry. It is often said that they want to speak to us, but then unfortunately you are usually faced with very high fences.

So do we have to take the agricultural industry into our own hands?

You have to start from humans and not from machines. There are people who make things by hand and use machines afterwards. Not: We have to get this bread ready as quickly as possible so the dough has to be as good as possible for any additives. But: The dough must taste as good as possible. As a society we have a problem if at some point the blender no longer conforms to the cake, but the cake to the blender.

When you look at what has become of nutritional professions, it’s sad. Bakers, butchers, farmers – these are almost insulting words. We already teach the kids nonsense at school: the farmer is the type who stands around with the pitchfork. Puff cake! This is the guy who brings us our potatoes – he should be valued higher. This is triggered by a few, but I hope that more and more will follow. 

Another important goal is more independence. We’re currently making farmers dependent, we’re exploiting people who make food, we’re exploiting other countries. It’s about the independence of the producer and also our independence as consumers – because I don’t want to eat the same food from a giant corporation as Italy, South Korea and North America. Always the same burger and always the same chocolate bar – we have to protect and preserve diversity. I also see that in danger and dream of a world that is united in diversity. In which we become aware that food has as much value as music as architecture. But there is still no culinary world heritage. 

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