Alice Waters and 25 Years of Slow Food

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Photo courtesy of Chez Panisse

On Friday in New York City, the legendary Alice Waters and culinary activist Carlo Petrini will drop by the Heritage Radio Network to reflect on 25 years of the Slow Food movement.

Waters, of Chez Panisse fame, is the vice president of Slow Food International. Italian-born Petrini, who founded the organization, has worked closely with the Chez Panisse chef since 2002, when she was named to her post.

The Slow Food organization, which defends regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure, and a slow pace of life,” is among the most powerful influences on the modern food scenebut we wonder: Do you know what it is?

Here’s everything you need to know:

What It’s All About: Slow Food is the opposite of “fast food"—it stands for tasty, seasonal, local food that packs a healthful punch. Its proponents believe in agriculture that promotes biodiversity, animal welfare, fair trade, and easy access to wholesome ingredients for all peoples.

Why You Care: Petrini first began to formulate plans for Slow Food in 1986, just five years after the United States Department of Agriculture proposed classifying ketchup as a vegetable. The increased awareness of and demand for local and organic food over the last few years? Slow Food is in large part to thank.

Who Supports It: There are more than 100,000 Slow Food members in 150 countries. Even Chipotle wants in on the action: Next week, the burrito juggernaut will announce a partnership with the Slow Food organization.

All excellent news for lovers of delicious eats. Slow Food may be a throwback, but it’s still living very much in the present.