Today’s comments are thanks to Emily Ventura of Los Angeles, who shared with us her Slow Food Nation experiences:
Slow Food Nation was inspiring and I am still on cloud 9, floating with hope, one full week later! I participated in many of the youth events including the retreat at Slide Ranch and the Eat-in at Dolores Park. The Eat-in was particularly powerful– we formed small cooking teams and prepared simple dishes with produce donated from local farms. Then we shared these dishes at a beautiful table set for 250 in the middle of the park. The spirit of community and enthusiasm was palpable. We were able to build a youth contingent and discuss potential collaborations and steps for involving more youth in the movement.
In addition to the youth events, the larger program, involving a public garden symbolically planted in front of city hall, a professional conference, tasting pavilions, and panel discussions, was comprehensive and phenomenally done. The panel discussion with Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry, Carlo Petrini, Vandana Shiva, and Eric Schlosser left me speechless — these leaders, who could be called the heavy hitters in the field, were so humble and gracefully insightful — the predominant themes that emerged from their comments were the urgent need for social justice, the importance of interdependence, and the rejection of consumerism. The first steps to take toward these goals are to plant a garden, wherever possible, and to meet your neighbors!
I feel recharged and inspired to convey this message here in Los Angeles!
For more information about the purpose and goals of the Eat-In, which was the result of cooperation between Slow Food Nation and Outstanding in the Field, you can learn more on the Slow Food Nation site.