Slow Food Boston is a branch of a national organization founded in response to fast food. Advocating for transparency in the path from farm to table, their mission is based on values of goodness, cleanness and fairness. But can broke-ass folks dig in? What about when it’s cold?
ELITIST NO MORE
INTERVIEW WITH WILLOW BLISH
BY ALEXANDRA KIKI TARKHAN
Certainly in the past, slow food was known as an elitist dining club for people who could afford it. But it’s stuff that really should be available to everybody. A lot of our work now focuses on advocacy: people using food stamps at farmers markets, kids in school getting real food instead of manufactured food.
On the other side, slow food can be less expensive, but it does require a little more time. You have to be cooking at home in order to make big stews or casseroles, but then once you break down the cost per portion, it really is similar or less [expensive] than the fast or processed food people eat. The dollar hamburger at McDonald’s has hidden costs. Cheap food is not as cheap as it seems.
We’re not blessed with a year-round farmers market in Boston, but about half of them are going through November. There’s a growing movement of preserving our food, growing things, freezing things, canning things. Even in the middle of the winter, you can still buy a whole bunch of squash and apples and winter root vegetables, and you put those in a cool closet or a dark corner—you can be eating that food for months to come.
We are encouraging people to eat more seasonally. It’s not natural or local, if you’re in New England, to be requiring raspberries in February. In the wintertime, you eat more root vegetables, potatoes, turnips, squash, greens.
In a lot of ways, the speed of information has helped the homesteading, because how to raise chickens or grow tomatoes or make your own jam—information on those skills is much easier to find. The fast is actually assisting the slow.