Saturday, November 6, 2010

Eating Slow Food

It's becoming more than a movement. It's a way of life. What is "slow" food? It's learning to cook your own food using fresh ingredients. It's knowing where the vegetables, meats, and fruits you eat come from, and meeting your local farmers if you can. It sounds like some sort of Utopian view of eating, and maybe it is. Known as the Slow Food Movement, this new view of an old way of life is garnering lots of attention from food lovers across the globe.
But is there something you can learn from this slow-and-steady approach to mealtime? Well, the main "take away' is that good things take time.
While the Slow Food Movement may have only recently become a household name, it's been around for quite some time. In fact, according to the web site for Slow Food International (slowfood.com), it all started in 1989. Just remember this the next time you're frustrated with the amount of time it takes to cook a meal the old-fashioned way. Or when you're tied up in traffic, building a boat from scratch, or teaching your children good manners. Because while you can get a high-fat, unhealthy meal at the snap of a finger, good nutrition and life takes a bit longer.

If you sit down for an hour or two of television you're guaranteed to see multiple commercials for fast food and other restaurants. You're likely not going to see commercials espousing the benefits of purchasing your own food from local growers and spending time cooking it. If you do see commercials for making homemade meals, it's probably a grocery store pushing their prepackaged “homemade” meals that only require a little time in the microwave.
You knew it in high school and it bears repeating - conformity is not always a good thing. Yes, conforming to traffic laws and accepted etiquette is a good idea. But conforming to what the media says you ought to eat will do nothing but beef up your waistline, leave you feeling sluggish, and put you at increased risk for all sorts of diseases.
Have you heard that patience is a virtue? Well, one of the most obvious differences between Slow Food and other means of eating is the amount of time it takes to plant, harvest, and prepare foods. Whereas you may be accustomed to sprinting through life without giving a second thought to any of your actions, the Slow Food Movement forces you to think twice.
Where did this piece of celery come from? What chemicals were used to force it to grow faster and with fewer bugs? Did the person who grew and cultivated the celery get paid fairly? In the Slow Food Movement, emphasis is placed on buying local, enabling you to better appreciate the process of growing food.
At the same time, cooking your own food helps you learn patience inside your home, as it is impossible to whip up dinner in the three minutes you allow the people behind the counter at a fast food restaurant. Who knows? The Slow Food Movement may even encourage you to spend more time with your family, too.
Wondering how you can get your hands on more locally grown and raised produce and meats? Here are a few tips.
  1. Find your local farmers market and shop there regularly. It's wonderful to develop a relationship with the people who are responsible for growing your food.
  2. Contact your local chamber of commerce. Having a hard time finding out where the farmers market is? Head to the chamber of commerce and ask. Someone there will either know or know someone who does.
  3. Talk with local grocery stores. Individually owned and some chain grocery stores are often willing to stock local fruits, veggies, and meats. Tell a manager that you would like to buy locally as much as possible, and you may have a better local selection in the near future.
Since these are only a few suggestions, I encourage you to respond by commenting on any ways you have made contact with your local food providers.

Until next time - Live Life Well,

John Aaron Villarreal
johnaaron-massage.com

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