Slow Food in a Fast Paced World!

Source: South African Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2009

What is the Slow Food movement?

The Slow Food movement arose from witnessing the rapid growth of fast food in the late 1980s. The movement was founded by Carlo Petrini who was merely reacting against a McDonald’s that was being opened in Rome and he saw that as a threat to the local food system.

The movement endeavours to preserve “local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast food and fast life, combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us”. It is essentially aimed at encouraging people around the world to move away from the excessive consumption of fast but instead to take their time in preparing and eating locally produced foods.

What qualifies as “slow food” then?

The Slow Food organisation defines slow food in the following ways:

Good: A fresh and flavoursome seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture.

Clean: Food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health.

Fair: Accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers.

The definition also implies other values and principles concerning the food being “organic” and “sustainability” being a guiding principle in how it is produced. Therefore producers and products do not have to be certified and approved using the “organic” label and other tags commonly used for fairly produced food. This is because good treatment of people and the earth is something that is assumed by the movement and its philosophies. Food is not something that is just sold but is seen as a form of “cultural diversity” that the organisation has a responsibility to preserve.


Donegan, P. 2005. Slow Food: Learn to Love Leisurely Dining. Available from: [Accessed 26 Aug. 2021].

Notara, M. 2014. Slow Food Movement Growing Fast. Available from: [Accessed 22 Aug. 2021]. Slow Food. N.d. Slow Food terminology. Available from: [Accessed 22 Aug. 2021].

Stubblefield, M. 2021. What Is the Slow Food Movement? Available from: [Accessed 22 Aug. 2021].