Traditions that guide the vital work

How was your weekend? I enjoyed a day off from my one-day-a-week-paid-work to participate in the local May Festival, which was a wonderful time, not least of all because the weather was beautiful. My five-year-old and I spent some time with an Italian woman who spoke no English as she taught us how to form pasta with our fingers. What a great activity to do with children, and we will do it again. I have a pasta machine that very occasionally comes out of the cupboard, but I am not sure we need it anymore…

I also went to listen to Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, and was very inspired (more about that later in the week). He reiterated the importance of argricultural biodiversity for our food security, and it was a good reminder to me to support our local farmers, especially those growing things that belong truly to this culture. Visit the Ark of Taste if you want to see Scottish foods at risk of extinction. Here’s a quote from Carlo Petrini about slowness (which you all know I love):

The quest for slowness, which begins as a simple rebellion against the impoverishment of taste in our lives, makes it possible to rediscover taste. By living slowly, you understand other things, too; by slowing down in comparison to the world, you soon come into contact with what the world regards as its “dumps” of knowledge, which have been deemed slow and therefore marginalized. By exploring the “margins” of slowness, you encounter those pockets of supposedly “minor” culture that are alive in the memories of old people, typical of civilizations that have not yet become frantic—traditions that guide the vital work of good, clean, and fair producers and that are handed down after centuries of empiricism and practical skill.

In coming into contact with this “slow” world, you feel a new (or renewed) relish for life, you sense the potential of different methods and forms of knowledge as counterweights to the direction currently being imparted to the tiller that steers our route toward the future. You reassess the elements of consumer culture, and in rural knowledge, you discover surprisingly simple solutions to problems which speed has made complex and apparently insoluble.

from Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food Nation: why our food should be good, clean, and fair.  


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