Saturday, November 15, 2008


So much has been written about fast foods, mostly depicting them as junk foods responsible for all the ills being experienced by the mankind during the last two decades. It is true that many meals offered by fast food joints are overloaded with calories, sugar and fat and most of the consumers do not pay attention to the nutrient load, being guided solely by the sensory pleasure derived by consuming many of these foods with minimum hassles. The alarming picture of almost 65% of American children being overweight or obese does not bode well for that country and same is true in many other countries also with high per capita income. Bliss full thinking that obese children will become normal adults with healthy arteries or not susceptible to Type II diabetes can only lead to terrible consequences and catastrophe globally. It is proved beyond doubt that obese children stand a very high chance of growing into unhealthy adults with high probability of contracting some of the dreaded diseases that afflict the society to day.

At least some people believe in the famous quote of the 1825 French gastronome, Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin in ' The Physiology of Taste' that "the destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed". This led to the formation of a non-profit, Eco-gastronomic member supported organization, called 'Slow Foods', founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, disappearance of local food tradition and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes, how it is prepared and the effect of food choices on rest of the world. The organization with 85000 active members operates in 132 countries propagating the need to exercise moderation and to adopt earth-friendly and health positive eating habits.

Though the size of the organization is not awe inspiring, its committed members have taken up a worthy cause to influence the thinking amongst the population in rich nations to abhor over indulgence just because they have the means to buy unlimited foods of their choice which results in waste and unintended diseases affecting the quality of life in the long run. They firmly believe that modern man is enslaved by speed and fast life disrupts the natural habitats, pervades privacy of homes and forces man to eat fast foods to keep up with the fast pace of the society at large. According to them Homo sapiens must rid them selves of speed before it reduces them to a species in 'danger of extinction'. Slow Food movement aims at living an unhurried life beginning at the dining table and their Eco-gastronomy philosophy connects the eating plate and the planet with mutual respect. Slow Food is good, clean and fair food, tasting good, produced in a clean way, not harming the environment, animal welfare or human health and the movement wants fair compensation to be paid to the producer for his efforts.

No wonder Slow Food movement has adopted Snail as its symbol because it eats calmly and moves slowly through out its life, a role model for human beings! How about trying to emulate the great Snail in order to live long and happy?


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