Slow Food Report

Saturday at Slow Food Nation, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater was the high church of liberal foodiedom. It was Bobo central. And it was awesome.

photo by Scott Chernis (via Flickr)Sharing the stage were Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Eric Schlosser, Vandana Shiva and Slow Food International founder Carlo Petrini. Corby Kummer moderated the entire affair with aplomb, calling on the strengths of each participant.

The mutual respect and admiration on stage was palpable. Rightly so, there was plenty of fawning in Berry’s direction for starting this whole movement of sustainable farming, local foodsheds and appreciation of real food and its growers. With great emotion, though, Berry threw the praise back to the other participants for all that they’ve done to champion the Slow Food banner.

At the end of the two plus hour conversation, Kummer asked each person to give concrete steps on what people can do to further the cause. After some adept (and humorously acknowledged) side-stepping of the question by panelists, Petrini gave his answer.

Petrini’s words beamed from the stage to the balcony, straight into my waste-attuned ears. OK, fine, his response in Italian came via Kummer’s translation. It went something like this:

Capitalism requires waste. Let’s all start wasting less. Food waste is shameful todayphoto by Scott Chernis (via Flickr)…It’s not just capitalism, we’re part of that waste.

Then Petrini continued by telling people to go home tonight and open their refrigerators. We should find the food with a little bit of bad parts and scrape it off.

And then if we had some items that we couldn’t eat all of, we should go around the streets of San Francisco looking for someone who would because there are many homeless people who’d enjoy that food.


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