Slow food and the politics of "virtuous globalization"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In 1987, a group of Italian writers and journalists produced a provocative manifesto announcing the official launch of a new movement for the Defense of and the Right to Pleasure. Published in Gambero Rosso -an eight-page monthly ‘lifestyle’ supplement of Il Manifesto -a widely circulating national independent communist daily newspaper-the manifesto began with the assertion that ‘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’. It followed with a number of statements declaring the necessity of founding a new international movement called Slow Food, which was ‘the only truly progressive answer’ to the ‘universal folly of the Fast Life’. Defending oneself against the speed of modernity, according to the manifesto, began at the table, through the rediscovery of ‘the flavours and savours of regional cooking’, the banishment of ‘the degrading effect of Fast Foods’ and the ‘development of taste’ through the ‘international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects’. Not surprisingly, the manifesto immediately attracted a great deal of public attention although, initially, many commentators regarded the idea of an international organization dedicated to the sensual pleasure of slow food and the ‘slow life’ as something of a joke. Yet, only two decades later, Slow Food has emerged as a highly visible and politically influential international organization whose dedication to changing consumers’ attitudes towards the foods they eat has had some quite remarkable practical effects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood and culture
Subtitle of host publicationa reader
EditorsCarole Counihan, Penny Van Esterik
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780203079751
ISBN (Print)9780415521031, 9780415521048
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

A reprint of an article in book "The globalization of food", edited by David Inglis, Debra Gimlin, published in 2009.

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