Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Slow Food - Because Food Matters

Food matters. It sustains life and is at the heart of our families and communities. And yet, far too often, we take food for granted. We expect our supermarkets to be filled to overflowing with an abundance of food of every kind. We grab a sandwich as we continue to work at our computers.

Writing about food began as a whim but has developed into a passion. I have met farmers, producers and restaurateurs who give their time, their skill, their energy to producing food that not only tastes wonderful but is beautiful to look at, safe and healthy to eat, and sustainable.

I delight to see Saskatoon’s and Saskatchewan’s food culture evolving. At one time, it was almost impossible to buy artisan cheese. Now we’re making it right here in our province. We have an ever-growing array of locally-produced specialty food products – from apple cider vinegar and wild mushrooms to hemp hearts and camelina oil. We have restaurants specializing in local, seasonal foods. We have local wine distributors and specialty wine stores.

There is a growing desire to connect consumers with producers, to shop locally and seasonally, to grow heritage seeds. The time is right to establish a Slow Food chapter in our community.

Slow Food 
Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.

Founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986, Slow Food became an international organization in 1989. It now boasts over 100,000 members and supporters in 150 countries around the world. Slow Food Canada is active in seven Canadian provinces and territories, including British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario—but not Saskatchewan.

Slow food has many different meanings. It is the art and beauty of well-prepared food. It is the magic of planting seeds and watching them grow, of picking your own vegetables and snacking on sun-warm tomatoes. It is discussing the weather with the vendors at the farmers’ market. It is sitting down to dinner with friends and family. It is growing sustainable crops that make wise use of our finite natural resources. It is making your own yogurt or taking a photograph of your son and his first batch of cookies. It is thanking the chef for a good meal as you leave his restaurant.

Slow Food Canada National Meeting
Slow Food Canada is holding its national meeting in Edmonton from May 3 to 6. Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement, will be there. What an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the Slow Food movement and to use that information to establish a slow food convivium (local chapter) in Saskatoon (or Saskatchewan).

I don’t have the personal financial resources to attend the meeting, but four local businesses that share my passion for slow food have agreed to sponsor me.

Tourism Saskatchewan has offered its support in setting up and holding the first organizational meeting for Slow Food Sask.

I would also like to thank Valerie Lugonja of Slow Food Edmonton for her encouragement and assistance.

And now I’m asking for your support. Help me to spread the word about slow food. Attend the planning meeting for a local convivium. Tell your friends and neighbours why slow food matters.

Saskatchewan Pride
I’m proud of my province and my city. I am in awe of the growing array of products that are now being grown and produced here. Help me to share that pride at the Slow Food Canada meeting.

I will have three opportunities to showcase Saskatchewan farmers/producers and their products. I will have a display table. I can share local food at a potluck lunch, and I can contribute items for the 30 participants’ goodie bags. Please give me samples of your wonderful products so that I can share them with Slow Food participants from across Canada. I promise to do my best to showcase your excellence at the Slow Food Canada meeting in May. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for sharing my passion.

My heart-felt thanks to my sponsors for the Slow Food Canada meeting:

Daybreak-Scheresky Mill

Earth Bound Bakery and Delicatessen

Loiselle Organic Family Farm

The fourth sponsor, who has contributed over half the sponsorship funds, will remain unnamed for the moment. They are planning an exciting new venture, which will be announced shortly.


jean said...

i luv earthbound bakery.
newcomer to Saskatoon

Lyn Brown said...

I would like to provide you with 30 samples of 55ml red clover blossom syrup for the goodie bags. Please advise as to how I can get these to you. You can check us out at bedardcreekacres.ca if you are not familiar with our products. Thank you.
Lyn Brown

Penny McKinlay said...

Thank you, Lynn. I am so happy to be able to share your syrup with the Slow Food Canada participants. I'll email you directly to make arrangements.

Amy Jo Ehman said...

You rock, Penny. Have fun in Edmonton and I look forward to attending the Saskatoon Slow Food organizing meeting.

Penny McKinlay said...

Thanks, Amy Jo. I'm so glad that you're on board. It's really exciting to see how many people want to be a part of Slow Food Saskatoon.