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Influx interview – aron hegyi- slow food nation

June 13, 2007

For four days next May, the Slow Food movement will descend on San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center, for Slow Food Nation (a festival about all things Slow Food). Influx caught up with one of the organizers, Aron Heygi, to learn more.

1. What is Slow Food Nation about?

Slow Food Nation
is a campaign to change the way America produces and eats food. It will demonstrate how everyday choices affect our well being, our culture, and the health of the planet. Slow Food Nation’s goal combines pleasure with responsibility to inspire a new activism with food at its core.

2. Why now and why San Francisco?

America is ripe for an event like this – the last couple of years in particular have seen large growth in organic and local foods, and this event will galvanize the Slow Food movement to spread the message far and wide that food should be good, clean, and fair.  Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, notes that globally we are at a crucial point in history.  In his new book Slow Food Nation (coincidentally the same name as our campaign), he presents a case for why food should be delicious, nutritionally and environmentally sound, and wherein the food production systems are socially just.

The first Slow Food Nation will be in San Francisco, as it and the Bay Area are focal points for the Slow Food movement and for the organic food movement.  Here in the Bay Area, there is a richness of agricultural bounty that goes back to the late 1800s, when immigrants came to the area and found that the climate was suitable for a myriad of products. 

In the 1970s, Alice Waters, of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, was one of the first to promote organic and local produce, which has developed into a way of life for some in the Bay Area.  Bringing people to the Bay Area to see this bounty can encourage folks to go back to their respective homes and push for changes in the way food is produced, grown, and eaten.

3. Does corporate America understand the movement, if so, which part?

One of the reasons for having the Slow Food Nation campaign is to make “corporate America” — as well as everyone else in America — aware of the impact that their food choices have.  For example, the average piece of food travels 1500 miles from farm to fork.  Those miles create a decrease in quality of the food, contribute to global warming, and use unnecessary energy to transport the food.  Ecogastronomical education is essential to people in all sectors, as food is something that affects every one of us.

4. What cities do you believe would be next on your list for the event?

We’re not sure yet…

5. Who did your branding, logo etc?

Albertson Design
, a wonderful design firm here in San Francisco

Posted by Ed Cotton

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