Thanks to its cuisine culture, Italy is the best example of a slow food nation. Its world-acclaimed gastronomy, based on deep roots recipes which use a great variety of local ingredients (from meat to fish, from vegetables to fruits), has been one of the country's most important aspect since its early establishment. Italians love their food and traditions, that's why Italy became the first home of the Slow Food Movement.
1986. When the world started to take less care of meals quality, promoting instead the phenomenon of fast food, which means industrial food production and globalization of agricultural products, something began to move. Italian journalist Carlo Pertini started a campaign against McDonald's restaurant opening near the Spanish Steps in Rome, creating a movement which would focus on the importance of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses.
Pertini wanted to preserve the uniqueness of world's different gastronomy cultures and local identities, along with their lore and preparation, imaging a world in which people can enjoy food that is good for them, for those who grow it and, of course, for the planet who does accommodate us. So it was born the first experiment of an international grassroots membership organization, which three years later would sign a manifesto in Paris that creates an international cooperation between 15 countries around the world.
The new established Slow Food movement wanted to defend biodiversity of local food supply, promoting quality food and taste education, and letting the world recognize the real risks of fast food chains. Today, Slow Food organization has grown dramatically, now including over 100,000 members with affiliates in 150 different countries.
The movement focuses on three main aspects: food should be Good, Clean and Fair. Every ingredient has to be a high quality product with a flavorful taste, in order to guarantee a fresh and flavorsome seasonal diet. Every food, every bread has to be natural in the way it was produced and transported, so that it doesn't harm the environment, animal welfare or our health. Every meal has to offer an adequate pricing and treatment for consumers, but also fair pay for small-scale producers. Only this way you can build a better future.
That's why Italy is recognized as the most important slow food nation: there's no other place in the entire world with a so huge food culture. It offers a wide variety of products from region to region and it's capable to involve farmers and local small business to create some of the most appreciated recipes of the international gastronomy.
From Italy, Slow Food movement has started the creation of The Ark of Taste project, an extraordinary selection of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, breads and more products from all the world which risk extinction within a few generations.
There are currently over 1100 products that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet risking extinction. Every country in the planet, each as a single slow food nation, must preserve this valuable heritage.