Thanksgiving: Slow Food, Slow Down

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Being Thankful for Good Food

Robin Sweetser

Everyone has heard of fast food, but Thanksgiving is a time to think about "slow food." No, I don't mean the bad service that you get at your favorite greasy spoon.

Slow Food is a worldwide movement that celebrates the pleasure of fresh, local food and traditional cooking. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants and livestock that's more native.

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At Thanksgiving, we enjoy so many "real" foods—versus processed foods—from turkey to sweet potatoes to vegetables to cranberries. (Why do we eat these particular Thanksgiving foods, anyway?)

And what could be more local than the food you have grown yourself? The garden is like a seasonal supermarket.

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This, we have apples, pears, potatoes, squash, onions, and garlic from the garden to use for this year's feast. Kale and carrots are still growing and there are green beans in the freezer. Cider comes from the orchard down the road. How far will the food on your Thanksgiving table travel?

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Most of us buy our groceries at the supermarket without ever thinking about the people that worked to produce that food or how far it has traveled. If you think trying to eat locally grown food isn't worth the effort, in the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara Kingsolver writes, "If every US citizen ate just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil a week."

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Cooking with fresh local ingredients is something we have to be thankful for and so is taking the time to enjoy the day and appreciate the food we eat. Time is one of the things in short supply these days so time spent with family and friends is the greatest gift of all. Slow down and enjoy it!

Need inspiration? Check out our favorite Thanksgiving dinner recipes, Thanksgiving sides, and Thanksgiving desserts!

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Comments

Barry M. Lamont (not verified)

3 years ago

My understanding is that while both "slow food" and "eat local" are good things, they are separate issues. Slow food, a term coined in opposition to the "fast food" meals people rush through these days, refers to taking the time to savor the flavors of your meal, to actually experience and enjoy the meal, rather than wolfing it down while texting. Local food, because it does not need to be shipped long distances - and can therefore be selected for taste and texture, rather than durability during shipment - will generally be much more flavorful than mass-produced food; but it isn't "slow food" unless you take the time to enjoy it.

Robin is referencing the original Slow Food movement and its purposes. It's about promoting food that is local, seasonal, and sustainably grown. Here is more: https://www.slowfood.com/about-us/ and https://www.slowfoodusa.org/about-us
And the "popular" definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_Food

Sheilah Perry-… (not verified)

3 years ago

Sure eat locally,farmers market wonderful except in the big city not always possible.The farmer trucks his produce in thus not reducing oil consumption.

Catherine Boeckmann

3 years ago

In reply to by Sheilah Perry-… (not verified)

Yes, it's a challenge indeed. In many areas, we're getting back to our roots.  Almost all big cities have farmer's markets today. Here's a good directory to reference: https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets