Have you heard of Slow Food Atlanta? Slow Food is a “non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world” and Slow Food Atlanta is the Atlanta-based chapter. Cool!
Slow Food At The Table is an event to help us slow down, find some friends and family, and have a slow food meal together. Often, we have high aspirations in life that we do not actually meet, because we are so busy. (This is why, as a society, we all need to slow down a bit.)Plus, we think we are doing better than we are – studies show that people over-report their consumption of fresh, healthy food while under-reporting their consumption of junk foods and the amount of food waste they produce. This isn’t because people are liars, it’s because we are too busy to really practice mindfulness about how we’re spending our time and what we’re consuming; and besides, humans are great at practicing self-deception. Our brains round things up, down, or off – whichever way helps us maintain our self-perceptions.
So, throughout February and March, the Slow Food At The Table event encourages slow food enthusiasts to host slow food potlucks with friends and family, “forcing” us to actually commit to a community slow food meal, and to follow through on those good intentions we are all saving for when we “have more time” – ha!
Ten neighbors attended our outdoor meal. We borrowed and extra table, chairs, and a space heater from our next-door neighbors, so even the coziness of the event was a neighborhood effort. Homemade slow food items included hand-mixed and patted hambugers with local organic lettuce, vegetarian and gluten-free zucchini lasagna with local vegetables, barbecue macaroni salad, and collard kale and white bean salad. We also had a roasted turkey, ham and cheese rolls, two types of quesadilla, and home-brewed green iced tea.Though some people had to leave to attend to other matters – really it’s kind of amazing we were able to align 12 people’s busy schedules in the first place – a good number of us hung around chatting and talking for several hours before it got a little yucky outside, and the event more or less broke up.
This type of neighborhood event is often cited when passing a neighbor on the street or running into them at the grocery store. “Oh! We should have another get-together very soon!” Everyone genuinely wants to, but it’s also the type of event that no one will ever feel like they quite have the time to actually put together, and then six months or a year will slip by.
In fact, we got so busy after signing up for this event that I surely would have postponed or canceled had the plans been less definite. (Or had there been no deadline!) But I am very glad I did it and forced my schedule around the event rather than the reverse, because we had a great time. We really live on a great block as are so fortunate to be surrounded with wonderful people!
If encouraging local, organic food cooked at home and meals shared with family and friends, check out Slow Food and Slow Food Atlanta and keep an eye out for future Slow Food At The Table Events!