By Carlo Petrini (Rizzoli, 2007)
Carlo Petrini is the founder of the Slow Food Movement, which began in 1986 as an ad-hoc protest against fast food in Rome and mushroomed into an international association to protect sustainable, traditional methods of food production. Its central concern is that while traditional methods of food production evolved in harmony with their environments — like drought-resistant corn in Mexico or sturdier cows in the mountainous regions of southern France — these naturally sustainable practices are being extinguished by industrial agriculture that tends to work against nature for the greatest yields. Without our attention and effort, Petrini argues, these foods will disappear. With attention, on the other hand, their continued production and appreciation will provide an excellent map for a more sustainable food system for the future.
Petrini’s wonderfully written book combines heartfelt anecdotes about his experience with struggling farmers and chefs, along with more straightforward explanations of industrial agriculture, community health and the quality of our food. Slow Food Nation is a most enjoyable introduction to the Slow Food Movement’s politics of sustainable eating, and a delicious call to arms for anyone compelled to return pleasure and justice to their rightful place at the table.