Anyone who is at all concerned about the “Fast Life” and “Fast Food” will want to read this book. The Slow Food Story – Politics and Pleasure is an in-depth look at the growing call for the moderation of modern lifestyle. The Slow Food Movement was set up in Italy as a response to the threat of fast food chains and supermarkets.
Fast Food is just a symptom of our craving for, or passive acceptance of, a high-speed, unhealthy existence. In this book, author Geoff Andrews sets the scene by quoting James Gleick, from his book Faster – The Acceleration of Just About Everything: “… Remote controls: their very existence, in the hands of a quick-reflexed, multi-tasking, channel-flipping, fast-forwarding citizenry, has caused acceleration in the pace of films and television commercials.”
It’s not possible to live a “successful” Fast Life without Fast Food. The Slow Food Movement isn’t against all fast food but they promote the concept of “slow fast food”. It has to do with sourcing of local ingredients, with no environmental degradation. We should be able to make choices that are healthy in food value as well as lifestyle.
Geoff presents the definition of the alternative to fast everything as described by Wendy Parkins and Geoffrey Craig: “…Slow living is not a return to the past, the good old days (pre McDonald’s arcadia), neither is it a form of laziness, nor a slow-motion version of life, nor possible only in romantic locations like Tuscany. Rather slow living is a process whereby everyday life – in all its pace and complexity, frisson and routine – is approached with care and attention…” Slot food into that philosophy and you have an idea as to what this is all about.
In The Slow Food Story Geoff Andrews offers us a positive option to the down-hill spiral of modern life. This isn’t a backlash against those golden arches but a suggestion that we need to take another look at what we are doing. 2001 statistics show that 110 billion dollars (yes, you heard right) was spent on fast food in the USA. That was more than was spent on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, video and music combined. Don’t you find that shocking?
It sounds like a heavy-weight subject but this is a well-written and absorbing book and essential reading for anyone who worries about the future and wants to do something about it.
The Slow Food Story – Politics and Pleasure
Author: Geoff Andrews
Published by: Pluto Press
Food book review by Chrissie Walker © 2018