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Slow Food Nation Tries Not to Be So Bourgeois

Better Planet
By Benjamin Nugent
Sep 1, 2008 8:10 PMNov 5, 2019 5:36 AM


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My favorite quote from the Slow Food Nation conference this weekend came from Wendall Berry (poet, essayist, farmer, panelist).

He held up a copy of a San Francisco Chronicle piece that said the best advertisement for the Slow Food movement was the pleasure of carefully preparing and lingering over a meal, and then described what the article got wrong. The following account of what he said is from the Journal:[Berry] said the reporter described pleasure, as it relates to the Slow Food movement, in a limited view -- that the description treated pleasure as a specialty, "a form of idleness," which leaves out the possibility that good work could also be pleasurable... By limiting the ideas behind Slow Food to just "tasteful consumption," Mr. Berry argued, the movement is limited in its growth. If the Slow Food movement is going to catch on outside the upper-middle class, it's going to be a movement about making people want to farm and distribute food locally. Not making them want to drive to consulting gigs in the city, come home, put on Graceland, and cook said locally farmed and distributed food and sit around talking/blogging/referencing David Sedaris. We need more farmers, working less efficiently, in the sense of using less fossil-fuel burning, soil-eroding methods. (See my lionization of Prince Charles, who is admirably blighted with nostalgia for agrarian England.) 

Image: Slowfoodnation.org

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