I have been talking about the Slow Food Movement quite a bit as of late. I think its imperative work that they are doing and I have a deep respect for the principles. The only problem I see in the United States is that the conviviums (groups) are primarily populated by affluent food enthusiasts. Most of the events are tailored to teaching these members grass roots levels of artisan techniques and practices.
There is nothing wrong with this, but I do see a need to get more professionals, especially young professionals and enthusiasts alike, to participate as well. Most farmers, artisans and chefs, are far to busy to attend most of these events. The subject matter is often of no interest either, because they already have the knowledge.
It is going to be the younger generation who will have to deal with the problems coming down the pike, and they are the ones who will have to be the caretakers of this planet, and the solvers of the problems our civilization has created. I have four daughters and I worry about what is in store for them. I would love to see programs within movements such as Slow Food, specifically designed to getting them involved.
Although I have been cooking for 35 years, even I do not feel comfortable at some of these meetings, which are primarily composed of retired or semi-retired “Foodies”. What is occurring on our planet is serious. The ball is literally in the younger generations court to get involved and make the changes needed to begin the healing process.
I am not quite sure how to propagate this vision. If anyone has suggestions, that would be very helpful to the cause. At Terra Madre in Turin Italy, where the semi-annual convention is held, farmers and experts from all over the world attend. Many of whom live and work in countries where the problems of sustainability, drought and loss of cultural heritage, are much more serious and real in nature, than they are in primarily coddled American society.
We are the richest country in the world and we take almost everything for granted. Spend a few weeks in India, Africa, or some small Asian country and you will see that the situation is much more critical.
In my mind we have to find a way to make “The We Generation” composed of young people, who have the energy, vision, and creative vitality, to manifest the kind of changes and solutions that will provide some hope.
Jane Siberry, one of my favorite song writers, once wrote a song entitled “Calling All Angels” within the text was a beautiful stanza, I would like to share.
Calling All Angels
And every day you gaze upon the sunset with such love and intensity, it’s almost … it’s almost as if you could only crack the code, then you’d finally understand what this all means. But if you could, do you think you would trade in all the pain and suffering?
Ah, but then you’d miss the beauty of the light upon this earth and the sweetness of the leaving.