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28 August 2008


Tana- as always, your posts are full of thought-provoking material.

I, too, have the sneaking sense that the truly "good stuff" is being reserved for special events behind closed doors that very few people get to attend... it's strange how "exclusive" it feels, and how at odds that is with the very heart and soul of "slow food."

I hadn't read the NYT article before seeing your link, but the notion of SFN simply being one piece of something much larger than itself is such an inspiring thought.

Oh, and the Edwin Markham quote: girl, you read my mind. I LOVE THAT QUOTE. It's been a favorite for years.


Thanks for the nod and the wonderful post. Nashville says hello right back at you. And, we also love not paying a premium for living the slow life.

"being crammed into buildings like sardines" - So not true. But, perhaps you were there yesterday and saw first hand? Yesterday was really well run and well organized.

If you had fun, Jack, more power to you. I wouldn't have gone unless somebody paid me REAL money.

I just think Slow Food is missing some really big points. And I know three former delegates to Terra Madre that all say the same thing (despite having enjoyed MOST of the Terra Madre experience): "Arrogant and elitist."

"Out of touch" is more like it to me, though the local leaders here in Santa Cruz are lovely people.

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. And I stated way up front that I was AVOIDING every bit of it, so no, I did not witness first hand. I didn't want to witness. I didn't want any part of it.

Say what you want about the organization, about which I don't know very much. But I went primarily for the 4 panel lectures I listened to yesterday and today. I'm not big on crowds or lines and don't go to many "festivals" but the lectures I went to, where no food was served, were absolutely fascinating, educational, stimulating, informative, political, depressing, hopeful, encouraging, and scary all at the same time. Neither the lectures nor the panelists, nor even the people in the crowd, reeked of the self importance or elitism referenced by so many. Indeed, I thought it was quite the opposite. I learned a lot and am really glad I went. And although the venue for the lectures surely was populated, it was not like sardines, of which I ate a few while in SF.

hi tana,
true, participation in the events came with a price tag. but the most thrilling events worth every cent to me were the forums with people like michael pollan, eric schlooser, raj patel, wendel berry and carlo carry on the most amazing conversations about food production, the world food crisis, farming, pesticides, farm workers, farm bills, monsanto and the bill gates foundation. they touched on the world in every conversation, rather than simplier topics of interest to us who are not in the industry of food production and who dine well. it was worth every cent to me to be exposed to the exciting ideas expressed by these folks. took me out of my kitchen and into the world.

Way to sniff out the bullcrap, Tana -- as always -- and opening the eyes of your followers...thanks!

thanks for your comment on your post, Tana. It was interesting to read your perspective too.

I'm in the Bay Area for a little awhile and heard about the Slow Food gathering. I was going to go until I found out how expensive the tickets were. Maybe it was worth the price, maybe not, but it was out of my league. I also happen to remember that little faux pas last year with the "surfer farmer" and I think it's unfortunate that no real apologies were made. I'd have to agree with you that the movement is becoming elitist. Big kisses Tana, I'm off to New York in a few days.

Great post! I've often thought the similar things about Slow Food and other movements. Especially the Green movement. It makes me wonder about the effectiveness of organized movements and groups and conferences.
Heck, why don't they just hand out 'I'm better than you' bumper stickers and be done with it?

If you haven't seen this, go read it now.

Tell me if you shed a tear, or many, as I did.

Tana, you raise an important point. Eating good, fresh, wholesome food should not have to be affordable only to those who are well off.

If there's to be a true food movement away from frankenfoods, and processed foods(and I believe there is), it's must be based on egalitarian participation.

Ironically, if we were able to eat better as a nation, our healthcare costs (and problems associated with diet related illnesses) would be greatly reduced.

There are many ways for people to get involved, and to become better educated on the subject, Slow Food just one avenue, amongst many.


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