Alison Leitch’s Slow Food and Pork Fat 101

I found this article pretty interesting because it explained how the Slow Food Movement started, and how she defined “endangered foods” with one of the examples being pork fat and the story behind it. Leitch didn’t mean to study pork fat at first, she was focused on ethnographic research on craft identity among marble quarry workers. The workers were eating pork fat, or lardo, on bread with an onion as a meal. Leitch was taken back by this because she was still under the notion of fat as “poison” in modern American diets. Slow Food had an impact on the national debate of new uniform European Union food and safety legislation in the late 1980s. Then in the 1990s, Slow Food developed in a large international organization that is now in 83 countries. Lardo began to get media attention and even got mentions in The New York Times in 1997 and Bon Appetit in 2000. Slow Food got so popular that it sponsors an annual food award that recognizes outstanding contributions to international food diversity.  It’s headquarters is in Bra, Piedmont but is opening offices in Switzerland, Germany, New York and Brussels. The article then moves into talking about how food has been cultural symbols in colonial and post-colonial nationalist struggles. For example, the colonial America used tea as a radical symbolic function uniting colonists of different backgrounds and to become a catalyst for boycotts, riots and revolution. Which brings me to my discussion question: What’s our generation’s food symbol? I can think of maybe the avocado, pistachios, or maybe it’s Sriracha.

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