Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slow Food Nation: 10 Points For Better Health

I have mentioned the upcoming big food event in S.F. called Slow Food Nation, It's basically a celebration of food that is billed as the first ever U.S. event on the viability of sustainability, the benefits of eco-friendly farming, and the flavors of artisan foods.

It's being held over Labor Day weekend, because as the event organizers put it: "We chose Labor Day weekend in homage to the harvest season and because farmers, who are the soul of the event, told us this was one of the few times of the year they could spare. But if citizens are the heart and farmers the soul of Slow Food Nation, political leaders are the target."

It will include the Slow Food farmers' market, specialty food pavilions, workshops and talks by renowned authors, nutritionists and activists.

Sadly, I cannot attend but I am doing my best to follow all of the goings on from here. One of the things they are going to do there is unveil a Healthy Food and Agriculture Declaration, orchestrated by Roots of Change as a response to the farm bill, which will be posted on August 28 at for public comment.

Another cool thing is to focus on ways to improve what you eat. The following is a list of 10 things you can do to improve your health that was in last Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, and includes tips that also help promote a sustainable food system, something we critically need.

Ten points to better health
1. Know what you're eating. Find out where it comes from and what's in it. Think about what's in season now - what's ripe, not just fresh. A lot of these foods will turn out to be local.

2. Get cooking. And try making things from scratch. You'll save money and rediscover skills you forgot you had.

3. Plant something. It could be an herb pot on your kitchen counter or, if you have space at home, a small kitchen garden, or a communal plot in your neighborhood that you tend with family and friends. (The Victory Garden on Civic Center Plaza is a landscape of ideas, staffed by experts who can guide your hands to the soil.)

4. Pack a bag lunch.

5. Drink tap water. It's healthier for you, and it's free.

6. Learn about and celebrate the food traditions your family still possesses. These are like seeds, long stored and just waiting to be planted.

7. Invite someone to share a meal. Strengthen the bonds of friendship and community by cooking and eating together.

8. Learn about endangered foods and how we can bring them back to our tables.

9. Conserve, compost and recycle.

10. Vote with your fork.

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