Slow Food Discussion [Split from California]
I just post my original comment which ended up in the general discussion on the "not about food" board. I can understand all what DinigDiva is referring to but I think the focus shouldn't be only on food. The impact of the slow food movement is weakened by just focusing on food.
I completely agree with Josh that slow food has nothing to do with "chowish or not" but is something good restaurants have done for many years without any "slow food organization". In addition I also think that there are many other issues regarding food which have to be stressed to the public more clearly than "just" slow food. The slow food organization is focusing too much on food and doesn't see it enough as part of a much bigger problem. (I know that part of the slow food organization is pointing to issues beyond food but they are only a minority).
I think it really is about more than just food. I think, ultimately, it's about changing attitudes, and if you've ever tried to change someone's attitude.....well, you know how hard that can be!
Food is the easiest thing to focus on because all of us have a very intimate relationship with it whether we want to admit that or not. We've got to eat food in order to sutain life. Can't get more basic than that. There are oceans of people out there who don't have the resources to acquire enough food to sustain life, yet we have enormous agribusiness over producing and depleting organic resources. We haven't made the connection yet. We also have oceans of people with resources who don't understand the relationship between what is grown, what they eat and how it affects the body. So in that respect, yeah, Slow Food has to kind of be about food. It doesn't have to be about restaurants or sevice or chefs. In fact, many of the farm producers are more than a little peeved at the inclusion of restauranteurs in this year's meeting in Turin coming up on October.
For me, Super Cocina is as much about Slow Food as is Region. SC is doing what is can to preserve and promote traditional Mexican recipes and methods (which indirectly gets back to the food) as Region is in promoting locally grown and simply prepared products. Both are Slow Food, just different faces of it.
Without starting a political discussion I just wanted to add that I think by focusing on food you give your opponents the chance to distract from more important issues. In the end it comes down to if you believe you can changes something by starting with the bigger issues and which later will than have also an effect on the food we consume or if you believe it is better to changes the attitude of many people towards food and that will later have an effect on the bigger issues. I don't think there is an ultimate answer on this issue but it is a personal preference. But in the end it is important that we start supporting some changes now and for that I very much support the approaches Super Cocina and Region (and many other restaurants) are taking.