Slow Food for Thought...

“Defending the earth means safeguarding biodiversity, the landscape and farming. Those who haven’t seen the importance of farming haven’t understood anything!”
Carlo Petrini, Founder of Slow Food

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Report from the Slow Food USA National Leadership Conference

The Slow Food USA National Leadership Conference was held in New Orleans last week. Northern Ohio chapter co-leader, Mary Beth McCormack attended and shared this reflection on the gathering. We'll be sharing additional updates from the conference in the coming weeks.

A Report from the Slow Food USA National Leadership Conference
May 17 — May 19, 2013, New Orleans

by Mary Beth McCormack, Co-Leader, Slow Food Northern Ohio

Slow Food National Leadership Conference attendees experienced in New Orleans sights of rough grey oyster shells, bright red crayfish, pink shrimp, and amber rye whisky.  We eagerly listened to stories from fishermen, chefs, and educators while sharing our enthusiasm for cultivating food communities and enjoying our own Slow Food community for a few days in the steamy spring weather of New Orleans.

Sustainable fishermen delivered their knowledge and their catch to capture us with stories of work and to revel in the act of sharing.  Grapefruit hand-delivered to Slow Food leaders by the farmer who graced our presence and our minds with stories from his farm and the dedication to his work were part of the experiences of this conference.

Oysters piled high on the first night. Tables teaming with newly caught and cooked crayfish and shrimp. We enjoyed the lush growth of a thriving Edible Schoolyard garden on the second evening.  On the bayou, tamales, honeysuckle vodka, and grapefruits fresh from trees were paired with traditional New Orleans’s drumming and singing. The abundance of food, generosity of farmers, fisherman, chefs, and community of New Orleans enlivened and nourished the sharing of ideas and fueled learning among Slow Food leaders who gathered here to plan for the future.  

Photos by Mary Beth McCormack

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