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Viertel – The Soul of Slow Food

Viertel, J. “The Soul of Slow Food: Fighting for Both Farmers and Eaters.” The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-soul-of-slow-food-fighting-for-both-farmers-and-eaters/251739/ (accessed May 17, 2012).

Keywords: Movement, social change, social justice, farmers, eaters

The author of this article is Josh Viertel. Josh is the president of Slow Food USA, which makes him both qualified and credible to speak on the topic of farming and food production. Not only is Josh the president of Slow Food, but he has made many other contributions to the sustainable food movement. In the past, he has acted as a teacher, farmer, and activist. For the past 6 years, Josh has acted as co-founder and co-director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Josh has written posts under the politics section of the Huff Post blog. He wrote a post titled, Food You Can Believe In, and discussed the importance of knowing where our food comes from. Josh Viertel has made many contributions towards the sustainable food movement, and as president of Slow Food USA, he is considered an expert in his particular field.

The article titled, “The Soul of Slow Food: Fighting for Both Farmers and Eaters” is relevant to the readings found in Week Two. This article relates to Food and Culture. It reminded me of McCullen’s article about the white farm imaginary and the issues that farmers face. Viertel discusses issues that farmers face in marketing their food. Many farmers go through struggles and hard times, such as the white farm imaginary and the difficulty of marketing food, and can relate to one another.

Josh Viertel is an in individual who is very passionate about farming, and takes great pride in his work. He grew a variety of fruits, vegetables, and many other ingredients with his fiancé. Josh and his fiancé sold their produce at farmers markets, and they did not hesitate to put high prices on their products, because of all of the hard work they put into their food production.

Josh became troubled when he noticed that as a farmer, he had a low income, and the only people he could afford to feed were people with high incomes. When people of low income came to the market with food stamps, he would give them two or three for the price of one. This did not seem fair. Josh said that fairness for the farmer seemed to mean injustice for the eater, and fairness for the eater seemed to mean injustice for the farmer.

As Josh realized these issues, he wanted to make a change in the world. He became Slow Food USA’s first president, and leaders reassured Josh that the main focus of Slow Food is pleasure and power of the shared meal. The leaders discussed the significance of biodiversity, food traditions, and supporting other food producers. Members of Slow Food USA wanted to become a part of social change. The public has expressed, “We don’t want Fast Food. We want Slow Food.” Slow Food USA has many chapters across the country that have created campaigns and projects to make the food in our communities more good, more clean, and more fair.

Just three years after the beginning of Josh’s presidency, there has been a rise in leaders and members of Slow Food. There are 1,200 leaders and over 25,000 members. The leaders and members work to build an alternative to the industrial food system. Josh is dedicated to this movement, and focuses on the importance of exhibiting both bravery and heart. He says that in order to love and support the farmer, it is necessary to love and support the person who should be able to be his or her customer. Farmers should not earn livings that do not them to eat the kind of food that they grow.

In order for there to be change, Slow Food USA must continue with this sustainable food movement. Food access, food tradition, farmers, workers, and eaters all rely on one another and strengthen one another. Slow Food USA is working towards social change, and is on the path to making a difference in the lives of farmers and eaters.

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