Join us May 1 at the Bellingham Community Food Co-op for a Slow Food celebration. See my article in the April issue of the Co-op Community News, “Slow Food: Resilient Food Systems.”

More: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The Slow Food movement links the pleasure of preparing and eating food to environmental sustainability and food community resilience. Enjoy a workshop featuring slides of Slow Food centers in northern and central Italy, narration by Gigi Berardi, Huxley professor and coordinator of the Resilient Farm Project. Learn about opportunities for Slow Food study in Europe and in Bellingham. Light refreshments to be provided by Charles Claassen of the Book Fare Café.
$6 students, $8 members, $10 non-members/ Downtown Co-op /register at Co-op

Slow Food, Resilient Food Systems
Gigi Berardi
Whatcom County residents are indeed fortunate to be living in a community and region that has such favorable physical resources (permitted water rights issues notwithstanding), know-how, and interest in supporting agriculture and fishing. From Sustainable Connections to the Food Bank Farm, Community-to-Community to Uprising Organics to Twin Brook Creamery, Boxx Berry Farm to Veen Huizen Dairy, Weston A. Price Foundation to BelleWood Acres, Ciao Thyme to Transition Whatcom (and many, many others), growers, farm suppliers, and community members are united on the need to protect farmland, provide good food, and build communication networks that celebrate common goals while identifying points of unrest and contention.
This author is still quite convinced that Slow Food as a movement is the key to unlocking some unifying theory about food, centered on the primacy of taste. Slow Food is the food movement associated with journalist, author, and activist Carlo Petrini — it links the pleasure of preparing and eating food to realities about social justice and environmental degradation, or at least it should be. Slow Food, in other words, promotes equitable and profitable worker, producer, and consumer food cultures committed to high quality, taste-full foods.
Yet such food cultures are vulnerable. Agricultural and food policies can threaten small-scale production and global economic accountingsystems can affirm – or deny — the worth of resilient practices in such systems. Sometimes the effort required to support a resilient, Slow Food system is huge, as in the extraordinary volunteer effort to provide Slow Food to 100 students at a local Summer Sounds chamber and symphony music camp each summer. Good will and cheer on the part of the teachers and students, and a group ambiance of healthy experimentation with varied foods tastes isrequired. It also requires (Slow Food champion) Ciao Thyme’s commitment to co-producing, serving nourishing and delectable foods by underwriting and sponsoring the week-long gastronomy adventure.
The only way to achieve resilience in food systems is through respecting diversity, innovation, and valuing what we can produce in Whatcom County. Regulatory agency directives and public sympathies and support need to focus on helping farmer to build adaptive capacity — seeing threats to farming as opportunities for positive change. The fact that food produced from suchsystems needs to be “real” is a given.
May 1, Beltane, marks the first day of summer in certain ancient calendars, and provides a good reason to meet over the promise of Slow Foodcultures – and those that care about how food is produced, prepared, and processed. At this meeting, we will network with others concerned about the future of food.
For more see See Twin Brook’s Larry Stap (and other Whatcom County farmers) starring in the award-winning Our Farms Are At Risk, also at (and on Seattle TV networks this month).
Slow Food and Nourishing Traditions
Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-8:30 pm
Downtown Co-op in Bellingham/register at Co-op The Slow Food movement links the pleasure of preparing and eating food to environmental sustainability and food community resilience. Enjoy a workshop by Huxley professor and coordinator of the Resilient Farm Project Gigi Berardi, and light refreshments by Book Fare Cafe.

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