Slow Food USA is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America. From the spice of Cajun cooking to the purity of the organic movement; from animal breeds and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables to handcrafted wine and beer, farmhouse cheeses and other artisanal products; these foods are a part of our cultural identity. They reflect generations of commitment to the land and devotion to the processes that yield the greatest achievements in taste. These foods, and the communities that produce and depend on them, are constantly at risk of succumbing to the effects of the fast life, which manifests itself through the industrialization and standardization of our food supply and degradation of our farmland. By reviving the pleasures of the table, and using our tastebuds as our guides, Slow Food U.S.A. believes that our food heritage can be saved.
Slow Food USA believes that pleasure and quality in everyday life can be achieved by slowing down, respecting the convivial traditions of the table and celebrating the diversity of the earth’s bounty. Our goal is to put the carriers of this heritage on center stage and educate our membership on the importance of these principles. We hope you will join us.
Slow Food USA oversees Slow Food activities in North America, including the support and promotion of the activities of numerous local chapters that carry out the Slow Food mission on a local level. Each chapter advocates sustainability and biodiversity through educational events and public outreach that promote the appreciation and consumption of seasonal and local foods and the support of those who produce them.
We invite you to join our table and become a member of Slow Food USA
As a Slow Food member, you’ll become an active participant in a growing network of individuals dedicated to improving food in this country.
To join Slow Food call (877) SlowFood or sign up online at the Slow Food USA web-site.
Slow Food South Bay – Chapter By-laws
Slow Food South Bay approved its by-laws at the Annual Meeting on January 24, 2011. You can download a copy here (PDF)
Slow Food South Bay Leadership Team
Jessie Herr, Chapter Chair is simply passionately involved in good food. She has a 600-volume collection of cookbooks (and still growing), enjoys cooking, food-related (and other) travel, talking about food, and doing food-related events.
Judee Humburg, Board Member
Peg Champion, Board Member Locavore, environmentalist and communications professional Peg Champion has always been passionate about food. Peg has lived – and dined – from coast to coast: Washington, D.C., Cape Cod, Miami and Austin, Texas, to name just a few locales. In her professional career, she’s worked as a communications executive for corporations, government and nonprofits and owned a successful design studio and marketing company in New York City for 10 years.
Growing up in a small coastal town in New Jersey, her favorite dinner was the “striper” her dad caught just minutes before it landed in the pan, expertly prepared by her mom. A young girl, her comment was, “This is better than candy!” Living by the sea, and as an advanced-certified scuba diver, she gained a unique perspective of our ocean world and the people who depend on it for their livelihood.
An avid national and international traveler, Peg loves learning about other cultures, customs and culinary traditions and considers herself a “citizen of the world.” She holds a special place in her heart for Italy – the people, the food and the wine – and believes the Italian way of life to be the quintessential “Slow” lifestyle.
Peg came to Northern California in 2008, a decision she called, “The smartest move of my life.” She said, “I’ve found my tribe here. And it’s easy to be a locavore – and live lightly on the planet – when you’re in the Garden of ‘Eatin’!” Since moving to the Bay Area, she has been studying wine and was delighted to learn that “California Wine Country” ranges across the entire state!
She is an enthusiastic advocate of sustainable food. She encourages people to eat seasonal, local food and wines and supports those who produce them. Peg is grateful to have the opportunity to work in environmental communications here and to spread the good word about the benefits of a sustainable lifestyle and the Slow Food movement.
Ann Duwe, Events Chair has spent 18 years planning and managing educational tours to places around the globe. She learned her craft during almost 15 years as a program planner with the Stanford Alumni Association’s Travel/Study Programs. Among her skills is the ability to create special events that forge ties between travelers and local people. On the home front she insists on making pie crust from scratch and often plans meals around produce in her backyard garden. In 1999 she visited Bra, Italy to shake hands with the founders of Slow Food. By coincidence she arrived during Slow Cheese, a celebration of the best handmade cheeses in Italy and beyond. Ann was immediately converted from Slow Food member to advocate. She looks forward to introducing residents to the San Francisco Peninsula’s most distinctive edibles.
Pat Nichols, School Garden Coordinator has been an active gardener since the age of 10 and an organic gardener in Campbell for 46 years. For the past decade since retiring from teaching at SJSU, she has been learning to develop her cooking skills and improve her gardening techniques. Workshops through Common Ground in Palo Alto and John Jeavons research garden in Willits have greatly improved her fruit and vegetable production, and cookbooks like those by Jessie Cool, Molly Kazen, and Laura Stec have introduced her to new worlds of flavor. Visit Pat’s web-site.
Mary Petron Bottega, At Large Member
Linda Collery, Food Literature Coordinator
Slow Food South Bay Past Officers
Peter Ruddock,Chapter Chair until 2011, has always considered himself something of a cultural explorer, interested in how different peoples view and respond to the world. And he has found that food is one of the most universal expressions of culture. He has been lucky to live for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where many cultures interact, mostly in a joyous way and often over wonderful and diverse food.
Among his favorite ways to explore cultures are reading, eating and travel. An avid traveler, he has explored many countries, where he always looks to see what people are eating, in everyday restaurants, in markets, and, when possible, at home. Long before he was aware of Slow Food, he felt that slow travel was the only way to really see a place – if today is Tuesday, he’s probably in the same place that he was on Monday.
At the same time, he has always considered himself an environmentalist. As a long time member of the Sierra Club, he has always enjoyed their philosophy of both protecting the land and enjoying it by getting out and exploring it. Food has always seemed to him to be an important environmental issue, starting with the elimination of toxics from our environment and diet, and continuing on through caring for the land and the people who farm it.
So, when he heard about Slow Food and its joint mission of celebrating food and protecting it, he knew that he had found another home. Carlo Petrini’s quote that “A gastronome who is not an environmentalist is stupid. An environmentalist who is not a gastronome is boring.” summed up his sentiments well. He strives everyday to be both.
Randy Robinson, Chapter President until 2009, is the co-owner of Vino Locale, a new Enoteca style wine bar in Palo Alto that specializes in local wine, food and art. Randy has been an active member of Slow Food South Bay for 4 years, and Vino Locale is a also strong supporter of Slow Food. Randy discovered Slow Food on a trip to Italy several years ago, where, in Rome and visiting Vatican City noticed a McDonalds in Piazza Spagna and thought to ourselves, “Why in the world would someone eat at McDonalds in Rome where the food is so exceptional?” Sound familiar?
- recognizing the interdependence of people with one another and with our environment
- caring for the land and protecting biodiversity for today’s communities and future generations
- promoting pure food that is local, seasonal and organically grown
- recognizing food as a language that expresses cultural diversity
- preserving the myriad traditions of the table
- cultivating and reinvigorating a sense of community and place
Pleasure and Quality in Everyday Life
- celebrating the diverse expressions of our earth’s bounty
- appreciating and encouraging creativity, passion and beauty
- respecting and supporting artisans who grow, produce, market, prepare and serve wholesome food
- following democratic principles in a spirit of sharing and service
- educating members and others about Slow Food’s mission
- dedicating ourselves to local cooperation and global collaboration
Authenticity and Integrity
- insuring our values are embodied by all staff, board members and chapter leaders
- manifesting these values in all of our events, projects and publications
- committing ourselves to partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations
The Slow Food Manifesto
Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.
We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.
To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction.
A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.
In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.
That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects?
Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement, with the little snail as its symbol.