Why the name Slow Food?
It’s a way of saying no to the rise of fast food and fast life. Slow Food means living an unhurried life, taking time to enjoy simple pleasures, starting at the table.
Why the snail symbol?
The snail was chosen because it moves slowly, calmly eating its way through life. It also happens to be a culinary specialty in the area around the northern Italian town of Bra, where the Slow Food movement was born.
How come Slow Food began in the town Bra?
Bra is the hometown of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini. Located in a region famous for its wines, white truffles, cheese and beef; it proved to be the perfect incubator for the Slow Food movement.
Does Slow Food mean organic?
No. Although Slow Food supports the principles behind organic agriculture, such as promoting methods that have a low impact on the environment and reducing the use of pesticides, it also argues that organic agriculture, when practiced extensively, is similar to conventional monoculture cropping. Organic certification alone should therefore not be considered a sure sign that a product is grown sustainably. Most of the Slow Food Presidia practice organic techniques, however very few are officially certified on account of the high costs of certification.
What is Slow Food’s position on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?
Slow Food is against the commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) crops and promotes GM-free food and animal feed. We are capable of transplanting a gene from one species to another, but we are not yet capable of predicting or containing the results, which could create a threat to our natural and agricultural biodiversity. GM crop cultivation tends to take the choice of what crops to grow out of farmers’ hands. Slow Food believes that all products containing genetically engineered ingredients should be accurately labeled to allow consumers to make educated buying decisions. Read more about why we are against GMOs.
What is Slow Food’s position on meat consumption?
Slow Food believes that responsible meat consumption means eating less meat, and only eating meat from animals that have been raised with a high quality of life. The cost of meat must reflect the true cost of production and practices that respect animal welfare. We are strongly against factory farms and support small-scale farming of heritage breeds and breeds at risk of being lost through the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity projects. Our 2012 consumer guide "Too Much at Steak" (written together with Action Aid and Compassion in World Farming) outlines good practices that can be applied to everyday life, when shopping, at home or in restaurants.
Who can nominate a product for the Ark of Taste?
Anyone! The goal of the Ark of Taste is to create a vast catalog with contributions from many people to represent the planet’s edible diversity at risk of being lost. You do not need to be an expert, have particular skills or even be a Slow Food member. The only prerequisite is an interest in the product and commitment to do a little research. You many nominate a product from your own area, but also from other communities or towns, for example a cheese, fruit variety or jam discovered during a trip or holiday. All nominations will be assessed by the Ark Commission to gauge their suitability for inclusion. Find out more about nominating a product.
How is Slow Food financed?
The international association receives most of its funding from membership fees and contributions from sponsors. The Slow Food national associations receive membership fees, as well as additional funds from other sources, such as sponsors and institutions. Slow Food Italy, the oldest national association, boasts the most developed forms of fundraising, including the for-profit publishing house Slow Food Editore and Slow Food Promozione, which organizes major events such as Salone del Gusto, sells advertising space in its publications and sources sponsors that comply with the Slow Food philosophy. In accordance with the statute, Slow Food Editore and Slow Food Promozione reinvest all income into the organization.
Does Slow Food have fundraising guidelines?
Yes. Slow Food follows fundraising guidelines designed to create long-term partnerships with donors and sponsors, based on mutual understanding and shared philosophies. Donors and sponsors cannot conduct activities that conflict with the movement’s philosophy, and Slow Food reserves total autonomy over its own choices and activities. Download the complete fundraising guidelines.
Where does my membership fee go?
The membership fees are divided between the local convivia and Slow Food’s international headquarters. On a local level, they are used to plan convivium activities. Internationally, they are used to fund projects for biodiversity. Once a national association is established, the membership fee goes to support it, while the national association, in turn, supports Slow Food International.
Can I use the Slow Food logo for my products or restaurant?
No. The Slow Food logo is a registered trademark and can be used only in connection with Slow Food’s international, national and local convivia events. Download guidelines for use of the Slow Food logo.