FOOD SLOWING DOWN IN NYC
Rebecca Tuhus - Dubrow
Slow Food, a growing international movement, is perhaps best defined as an alternative to its fast counterpart, fast food. Its followers promote its message in various ways. From chapters throughout the world, they plant gardens, hold tastings and educational events, disseminate manifestos and publish newsletters and guidebooks. Last summer, events in the USA included the Second Annual Italian Wine Tour and a New York Taste and Learn Series Seminar focusing on the local dairies.
Another new Slow Food project is a guidebook, published by Chelsea Green, for “slow” New York City restaurants, bars and markets. The book evaluates establishments on criteria such as sustainability and conviviality.
Patrick Martins, head of Slow Food USA and co-editor of the guidebook, recently talked to us about both movement and the book: Can you talk about the origins of the Slow food movement?
Patrick Martins: Slow Food was founded by a journalist named Carlo Petrini in 1986, as a joke reaction to the opening of a McDonald’s franchise near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Because fast food was a household name, he wanted Slow Food to become a household name as well. And so he started Slow Food through a pasta-eating protest in front of the Spanish Steps.
At the time, Slow Food was very much a gastronomic organization. It was about long meals, drinking delicious wine, cheeses, staying up late talking about philosophy. Eventually, they understood that being purely gluttonous was not sustainable, and was not going change the world. And Carlo looked around the world and saw that biodiversity was being threatened, and that we were losing many varieties of fruits and vegetables and farm animals, and so he decided that something needed to be done. That’s when Slow Food became more of an environmentally conscious organization, and now we define ourselves as an ecogastronomic organization, dedicated to preserving food and food traditions.
SPEAK UP. Edição 210, novembro/ 2004.
Gluttonous - gulosos
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