development. Finally, the article will describe the key elements of SF ideology: the ideasof tradition, of a new consumer, and of a new engagement through food consumption.Formerly called ArciGola, SF was founded in 1986 by Carlo Petrini, and became aninternational association in 1989. Today it has around 90,000 members, with centres inseven countries and followers in 130, divided into approximately 800 basic units called
, which organize courses, tasting panels, dinners, travel and promo-tions, etc. In Italy, SF owns a publishing house, maintains two magazines and operates aservice company (SlowFood Promozione S.r.l.). It has created, together with public and private bodies, not-for-profit entities such as the Fondazione SlowFood per la Biodiversità,a university for gastronomic studies, a wine bank, the Mother Earth (Terra Madre)Foundation and so on. It also organizes the so-called Presìdi, devoted to the preservationand defence of rare foods, as well as events such as the Saloni del Gusto, Cheese,SlowFish, and many others. It is a true multinational entity, capable of raising funds on alarge scale, of concluding cooperation agreements with governments and large corpora-tions, and of mobilizing politicians and prominent personalities with divergent politicalopinions.
SF’s main goals are the following:
placing the right emphasis on the pleasure of food, and learning how to appreciatedifferent recipes and tastes, in order to recognize the various places and skills of production, and to respect the rhythms of the seasons and of the
sustaining the education of taste as a defence against poor quality, food fraud andthe standardization of our meals;
safeguarding local cuisines, traditional production systems, and vegetable andanimal species at risk of extinction;
sustaining a new model of agriculture that is less intensive and cleaner;
defending biodiversity and the right of the people to food sovereignty.
SF was created in the late 1980s by people feeling a ‘snobbish distaste for that consumer-ist and TV-addicted Italy’ and a desire to ‘contain this barbaric invasion’ (Petrini andPadovani, 2005: 92). Its origins date back to a reaction to the first Italian fast-food outlets(the first McDonald’s restaurant in Italy opened in 1985), but from the very beginning itwas opposed not just to a food model but to an entire culture: ‘fast food was backed by anew culture and a new civilization having one value only: profit. Pleasure is totallyincompatible with productivity, since the time spent in its pursuit is subtracted from pro-duction’ (Petrini and Padovani, 2005: 90−1). Thus, in the SF Manifesto, we read thatmodern civilization started under ‘the signs of dynamism and acceleration’, taking themachine as a model for man himself and velocity as the ‘dominant ideal’.
SF proposesto ‘defeat the virus of fast’, opposing the ‘dynamic life’, an ‘easy life’: ‘May suitabledoses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us fromthe contagion of the multitude that mistakes frenzy for efficiency.’ This is SF’s ‘modest proposal for a gradual as well as progressive recovery of man, both as an individual andas a species, in the long-delayed process of environmental reclamation, in order to makelife liveable again, starting from basic desires’. And the proof is easy:
at UNIV CALIFORNIA BERKELEY LIB on May 29, 2012 jes.sagepub.comDownloaded from