How Slow Food Benefits Food Allergy Families

May is Food Allergy Action Month. This initiative from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization strives to raise awareness about food allergies and inspire actions to improve the lives of people with food allergies.

One way that my food allergy family is taking action is by embracing the Slow Food movement.

What is Slow Food?

The Slow Food movement began in Italy in 1986 in protest of a popular fast food chain. The philosophy of the slow food movement is simple — its back-to-basics. Its all about slowing down to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like gathering around a table to enjoy a good meal.

It’s about enjoying the kind of food your grandmother made.

The Benefits of Slow Food

There are three pillars to the Slow Food movement: good, clean and fair. For food allergy families, like yours, these pillars are key.

Strawberries, Photo by Justin Sewell

Photo by Justin Sewell via Flickr Creative Commons

Good food, the first pillar, means locally-grown, seasonal food, like strawberries harvested from a nearby farm in late spring rather than shipped from a warmer climate to your grocery store in winter. It means whole foods that don’t require a label or a lot of ingredients to make — or an allergy warning (unless your child is allergic to a particular whole food, like my daughter, who is allergic to bananas).

Slow Food is clean, the second pillar. Clean food is free of harmful chemicals and made with care. In other words, you can pronounce the ingredients on the label and no person, animal or thing was harmed in the process and preparation of the food.

Benefit: you know exactly what you’re feeding your family.

The last pillar, fair, refers to the cost of the food. From farm to table, the cost as well as the wages paid are fair and economical. That means high-quality food, without the junk, on your table at a fair price.

How You Can Slowly Take Action Today

Embrace the slow food movement by starting small. Pick one meal this week to truly savor. Let your kids help you plan and make dinner (or lunch or breakfast). Then sit down together at the kitchen table and enjoy your meal.

Put down your phone. Turn off the TV.  Have a conversation.

At our dinner table, we like to share the best parts of our day. Often, the best part is that exact moment, at the dinner table, all together.

Which meal will you stop and savor this week?


This post was inspired by “Hurry Sickness and Time Famine,” a section from Thrive by Arianna Huffington about slowing down. This book was a From Left to Write selection. As a member of the book club, I received a copy of the book for free. This post is also inspired by Notes From a Blue Book by Tsh Oxenreider, which is not a book club selection but also touches on the topic of slow food. All opinions expressed are my own. Book links are Amazon affiliate links.

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