Florence fights fast food

Slow food movement holds conference in florence

Editorial Staff
September 8, 2005

In response to the opening of the first McDonald’s in Italy in the 1980s, Italian journalist Carlo Petrini established the now international Slow Food organisation.  The group’s Tuscan headquarters hosted a conference last week to demonstrate the success the region has had in reinstating biodiversity in agriculture in the area.


Slow Food’s main goal is to preserve the art and tradition of growing, eating, and preparing local foods and cuisine, and thus it hopes to counter the predominant fast food culture and mentality. The originally small group has now become a global organisation that has members from almost every country around the world.


Last week, guests arrived from all over the globe for a chance to admire the production of various agricultural products that have set Tuscany at the forefront of creating and maintaining biodiversity in Italian agriculture.


Representatives from China, Japan, Australia, France, Spain, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Holland, Chile, Brazil, Peru, and the United States visited areas where particular local and historical plants and animals are still being cultivated and raised in Tuscany.  Their tour included the Pratomagno area, where the rare and local Zolfino bean has been cultivated for centuries; the Maremma area, famous for its cattle; and the Valdarno area, which specialises in poultry.


The conference also celebrated the inauguration of the official headquarters of Tuscany’s Slow Food branch, now located within the halls of the Accademia dei Georgofili in Florence, the prestigious and historical museum and archives dedicated to Tuscan agriculture.  For further information on Slow Food events in Florence, see p.21.

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