More people eating "family dinner" means:
more people that come to the table,So, family dinner is both a first step and a platform. The slow food movement will mean something to parents who are already invested in serving their families nutritious foods at shared meals. Reaching out to parents and families will not only expand the slow food audience, but it will combat charges of elitism.
more people that care about food,
more people that know about food,
more people that eat better,*
more parents teaching kids about healthy choices,
more people that vote with their wallet and their forks to affect change in the food system.
Researching these issues, I stumbled across a couple of great slow food projects: The Perennial Plate, by Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, a online video documentary of weekly sustainable food adventures in Minnesota that is now launching a nationwide a road trip, and 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake who challenged herself to feed her family "real food" for over 100 days. While the documentary filmmakers are indeed inspiring, very few of us in the trenches with kids could or would launch such a drastic life change. But Leake's model is more do-able for a family, and in some ways, more instructive. How can you make changes today to embrace a commitment to real food, and in the end, make more healthy choices for your family? I was particularly inspired by her stint of serving real food on a budget of only $125 a week for a family of four. I am also excited by Food Day, which seems to be reaching out to a broad audience, as an Earth Day for food. I hope these efforts will bring families into the "slow food" fold, so that they can eat better for themselves and they can advocate for a better food system for all.
More resources for Slow Food and a Sustainable Food System
SlowFood USA, an organization to promote slow food
Food Day.org, an organization to promote "real food" advocacy
100 Days of Real Food on Civil Eats, May 5, 2011
Fair Food, a new book by Oran B. Hesterman on positive ways to change to food system.
*Recent coverage of new meta-analysis on the health benefits of family dinner
Pediatrics Article May 2, 2011