Slow food movement invades San Francisco


The event is an alternative to fatty fast foods, which began Friday with a moveable feast at the Civic Center, one bite at a time.

Slow Food Nation founder and owner of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters, created the movement because she says people are hungry for change.

"It's bringing people to the ideas of sustainability and bio diversity through pleasure," said Waters.

A legion of fans showed up at the Civic Center for a marketplace of tasting, buying and admiring what you can do locally.

"I'm just trying to educate myself about how to eat more healthy, about how to eat more locally," said Ann Powers of San Carlos.

"It's good to know where things are from and how they are handled, and how they are prepared," said Nate Phelps of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It is about developing a relationship with the people you buy from and supporting local farmers. The slow food movement began in Rome in 1989 as a protest against fast food becoming the food of choice, and to protect taste and culture. It is about flavor and delicious and healthy food.

"We eat one out of five meals in our cars in America. The idea of slow food is enjoying your food, savoring it. You don't have to spend a lot of time on it," said Anya Fernald, executive director of Slow Food Nation.

She says slow food is a counterweight to illnesses and obesity, and to benefit future generations.

"I want an edible education for every child in America," said Waters.

She pioneered that concept in Berkeley. Now The Food Network has created a garden filled with vegetables for schools.

"These were designed to really be educational gardens. We have curriculum developed for the schools," said Mark Teich with Teich Garden Systems.

This is food that is good, clean and fair, even though it may cost a bit more. It is a concept that is growing.

"Pleasure is the rocket fuel of this movement," said Waters.

Waters is also making films on the basics of cooking for YouTube.

The weekend event also includes entertainment, featuring the musical stylings of Gnarls Barkley and Phil Lesh.

For complete event information, visit

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