Follow up on Slow Food Co-option May 13, 2009Posted by Ian Duckles in Uncategorized.
As a quick follow-up on my earlier post about large corporations co-opting the language and rhetoric of the slow food movement, today I came across this article in the New York Times. There is a nice quotation in the article that, I believe, nicely summarizes why I find this practice so problematic:
“The local foods movement is about an ethic of food that values reviving small scale, ecological, place-based, and relationship-based food systems,” Ms. Prentice said. “Large corporations peddling junk food are the exact opposite of what this is about.”
The real concern here, I think, is that as large corporations increasingly co-opt and corrupt the language of this movement, people will lose touch with the ideas and values that inform the movement. As I see it, the Slow Food Movement is motivated, in large part, by an ethic of care (I would be curious to hear Dwight’s thoughts on this) in which one’s eating habits are guided and shaped by the relationships one forms with individuals in one’s community. Rather than buy food from who-knows-where grown by strangers one never even sees, one instead develops a relationship with the local farmers. In exchange for supporting her operations, she provides me with quality products that are grown in a responsible manner. I know they are grown in a responsible manner because I know the person who grew them and I can go and see the farm where the food is grown. It is this emphasis on forming relationships that is so important to the Slow Food movement, and which is lost through this co-option of the movement by large corporations.
Free Beer: As a quick side-note, I recently started brewing my own beer and am relatively pleased by my first efforts. I currently have way too much around the house, so if any of my colleagues would like to try some locally produced beer, just drop me a line and I will bring you a bottle or two.