In an article in yesterday's New York Times about the upcoming Slow Food festival in San Francisco Carlo Petrini, Slow Food founder, is quoted in translation thusly:
“I always say a gastronome who isn’t an environmentalist is just stupid, and I say an environmentalist who isn’t a gastronome is just sad.”
The article, by the way, is quite balanced in its critique of Slow Food USA as elitist. It occurs to me that in many places in this country we don't have even the vestiges of local food traditions that could connect rich and poor, urban and rural, in the way they seem to have been able to do in Italy.
Are $85 dinners really going to help democratize this movement?
The free events are pictures of food, and lectures and dances about food. Let them eat photography.
I know that much as I am sympathetic to what Slow Food is trying to be, I won't join my local chapter because of the cost, and because I know the cost only begins with the membership fee. No, let me put that another way: why would I shell out good money to join a group whose events I could not afford to attend?
I'll just stick to being an environmentalist/gastronome on my own.