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Slow Food in crisis

(article, Culinate staff)

As we've noted before, Slow Food USA is having a bit of a mission crisis. The Italian nonprofit's American outpost has only been around for a dozen years, and as Twilight Greenaway reported on Grist recently, in that time the organization's goals have shifted somewhat, from food biodiversity toward food justice and food politics. 

Prominent longtime Slow Food members unhappy about the change in focus, including Poppy Tooker and Gary Paul Nabhan, have issued a manifesto titled '"10

In many ways, the debate is similar to that around organic food: How should food be produced, distributed, marketed, purchased, and consumed? Can a movement's original goals be sustained on a national scale? 

As Greenaway summed it up: "The term 'slow food' has come to be synonymous, in some cases, with a much broader philosophy of eating, farming, and thinking about food. And the national organization has become a kind of conceptual hub for many divergent aspects of today's food movement."

Update, January 25: On Monday, January 23, the Atlantic published an opinion piece by Slow Food USA president Josh Viertel, which lays out his vision for Slow Food in this country. On the same day, Zester Daily published another take on the controversy — by long-time Slow Food member Poppy Tooker.