Culture

Slow Food Detroit: All You Need to Know

As a Chapter of Slow Food USA, Slow Food Detroit aims to fulfill the Slow Food mission at a local level. We celebrate our food traditions and heritages through local and regional food-related events such as rural and urban farm tours, farmers markets, wine tastings, brewery and wine tours, film screenings, and farm-to-school programs.

Promoting the Slow Food Movement by providing alternatives to the fast food lifestyle that robs us of our agricultural, family, and culinary heritages.

As we savor the flavors of our region during our tastings and tours, we are able to bring awareness to the direct impact our food choices have on our local economy, environment, and culture. At farmers’ markets, the community members are able to meet their local farmers and artisans, creating lasting relationships that are built on respect and trust.

As we bring local food into the schools, we are able to introduce the children to freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, giving them an opportunity to learn to discern the difference between something that was planted, grown, and harvested in their region versus the same type of food that was planted, grown and harvested thousands of miles away.

What is slow food?

Slow Food is an international, educational non-profit organization supported by its members and is the antidote to the fast food lifestyle of this age. In 1989, in Paris, France, delegates from 15 countries led by Italian Carlos Petrini (the founding father of Slow Food) met to sign its founding manifesto.

Folco Portinari, the founding member of Slow Food, penned the manifesto and wrote, “Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the slow degrading effects of Fast Food.”

Slow Food believes that food should taste good and be produced in a way that considers our health and the well-being of our planet and its effect on our economy. We believe that producers should be fairly compensated for their work and respected in their communities.

Slow Food educates people about the importance of preserving and promoting local and traditional food heritages as well as how and where their food is produced. Also, we believe that whenever possible, food should be eaten in season.

Ways to live slow every day

Our everyday lives can be enriched by taking time to slow down and enjoy life with family and friends. Living the slow life with food as the focus is as rewarding as it is easy, and it can be done daily by each one of us. Here are just a few pleasures you can enjoy:

  • Visit a local farmers’ market
  • Start a kitchen garden
  • Make pasta from scratch one night
  • Invite a friend over to share a meal
  • Squeeze your own lemonade from the fresh fruit
  • Create a new food memory for a child! Bake with your child or teach them to plant seeds for a meal.
  • Trace your food sources
  • Linger over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area
  • Decide to eat lunch sitting down instead of standing up
  • Visit a farm in your area
  • Learn your local food history! Prepare an authentic regional dish or discover a food that is celebrated by your culture.

Slow Food Detroit’s members and supporters come from various backgrounds, talents, and life experiences. This diversity is celebrated and utilized as we continue to grow together as a community and reach out to others. Anyone who joins Slow Food Detroit as a member or a partner will become part of a community that is making positive and lasting changes to our food system.

How to join slow food Detroit?

  1. Learn where you can purchase locally grown seasonal and sustainable produce throughout Michigan
  2. Work to support small farmers, producers, and local food artisans, brewers, and winemakers wherever possible
  3. Identify and enjoy Slow Food restaurants, markets, and purveyors of artisan food products, like cheeses, wines, and beers, in your local area.
  4. Take part in a variety of events such as food and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, farm tours, film screenings, community gardening, and much more!

How can I get more involved?

  • Plan an event: Contact us about holding an educational tasting at your favorite ethnic restaurant. Help us organize a volunteer day at a community garden. Get a committee together to start an edible schoolyard. Host a potluck. These are just some ideas.
  • Volunteer: Members can volunteer to staff events and help plan them.
  • Attend planning meetings: Our goal is to meet once a month. Please contact us by email if you would like to join.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join Slow Food or renew my membership?

Please contact SFUSA at Slow Food USA.

Are Slow Food events for members only?

Most of our events are open to the public. However, on occasion, we have members-only events.

Why do you charge for Slow Food events, and what are the costs?

We typically partner with small producers, vendors, restaurants, markets, and chefs, and part of our purpose is to support them. Therefore we would not ask them to absorb the cost of events. The cost of most events ranges between $15.00 and $40.00. Occasionally we do fundraisers that cost significantly more, and they are noted as fundraisers.

How is Slow Food Detroit funded?

Local Chapters (Slow Food Detroit) receive 3% of Slow Food USA membership dues, which is a range of $1.80-$2.25 per SFD member. The majority of funds used to promote the missions of SFD and Slow Food USA are raised through events and fundraisers.

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About the author
Growing up in Detroit, Amanda is a Michigan State University alumnus. She feels incredibly lucky to live in Detroit, and much more, to spend her days promoting the Detroit area as a travel destination.