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slow food

noun [countable/uncountable]

food which is carefully prepared using traditional cooking methods and organic ingredients, and is intended to be eaten and enjoyed slowly for maximum benefit



'Better a day of tortellini than 100 days of hamburgers!'

the Slow Food Movement … is an attempt to resist the encroachment of fast food and the ensuing homogenisation and globalisation of food production

Such were the chants of the protestors in Rome, Naples, Milan and 17 other Italian cities, who in October 2000 declared war on the McDonald's fast food chain. These protestors are among the many advocates of slow food, carving out time in their busy lives to oppose all forms of burgers, pizzas, tacos and fried chicken in favour of locally grown food, cooked by traditional, sometimes painstakingly slow, techniques.

One of the earliest references to slow food as an alternative to fast food can be found in a December issue of the New York Times in 1981:

'Traditionalists in Georgetown are fed up with the fast food invasion and have gone to court on behalf of the rights of slow food.'

Background – slow food

The Slow Food Movement was founded in 1986 by one Carlo Petrini, an Italian journalist who was enraged when a McDonald's restaurant opened in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. The Slow Food Movement, now with over 70,000 members – sometimes called slow foodies – in more than 40 countries, is an attempt to resist the encroachment of fast food and the ensuing homogenisation and globalisation of food production. Fast food is viewed as a threat to gastronomic individuality: ingredients, production, preparation and consumption of food should all relate to individual cultures and personal pleasure. The movement's logo, appropriately a snail, represents an emphasis on traditional methods of preparing and consuming food, as 'slowly' as is necessary for premium quality and enjoyment.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 3rd March 2003.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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