Natural Perspectives: Savor 'slow food' for Thanksgiving

November 22, 2011|Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
  • Pulp is processed by hand through an old colander that has been in Lou's family since the 1930s.
Pulp is processed by hand through an old colander that… (Lou Murray, HB Independent )

Food, family, friends, and giving thanks for our many blessings. That's what today is all about.

Rather than focus on football and Black Friday shopping, Vic and I would rather focus on the food. Slow food, local food, good food.

"Slow food" is a recent buzzword that refers to any dish that is made from scratch. It's the opposite of fast food.

Thanksgiving may be the one day left where large numbers of Americans still eat slow food. Look at your dinner table today and see how many things were made from scratch versus made from a mix or store-bought. Think about how good slow food smells and tastes. Now, don't you wish you ate this well every day?

An important part of slow food is the enjoyment of its preparation. Cooking is fun. And it's a great way for family members of all ages to participate in a common activity, making something together.


There is actually a Slow Food International movement that started in Italy in 1989 in protest of a McDonald's moving in. People began to decry the loss of regional cuisine as it got shoved aside for mass-marketed burgers and chicken. Some people formed groups to prepare and savor food the old fashioned way. The movement spread, and now has more than 100,000 members worldwide.

There is a chapter in the U.S. as well. To learn more about Slow Food USA, visit You can get on their email list for free and stay up-to-date with what they're doing to promote traditional, family cooking. In addition, they work to protect the environment, promote diversity in food crops, encourage sustainable agriculture, and support small-scale farmers.

One of the projects of Slow Food is the Ark of Taste. Many unique varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as breeds of livestock, are being out-competed in the marketplace in favor of those that are the most easily or profitably marketed.

For example, instead of having hundreds of different varieties of dried beans in stores, we have a choice of pinto, red, pink or black. Or course, it is impossible for stores to stock all varieties of each food. That is one of the reasons why Vic and I grow our own. This year, we grew two foods on the Ark of Taste list, Cherokee Trail of Tears black beans and Amish pie pumpkins.

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