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Everyone eats, and what we eat affects not only our well being and health, but also the environment, economy and society. Agriculture is one of the primary uses of land and water resources. Our food choices affect how these resources are used as well as the livelihoods of farmers and agricultural and food service workers. In the terms of Slow Food’s founder, Carlo Petrini, our food choices make us all “co-producers.” Slow Food on Campus is an extension of the international Slow Food network and of Slow Food USA. Slow Food has been expanding over the past decade from dealing with issues of quality in cooking to include environmental and sustainable agriculture, social justice, and food sovereignty, among others. They began by engaging cooks, and then food communities, farmers, cheese, wine, other food producers, and most recently academics doing research on Slow Food issues.Today, Slow Food is reaching out to incorporate students and other young people who are interested in “good, clean, and fair food.” UW Madison is one of the first universities in the nation to begin a Slow Food organization on campus. Working with Slow Food Madison, as well as with the Slow Food groups in our sister cities of Montova, Italy and Freiburg, Germany, we can bring the rich traditions of slow, sustainable, local eating to campus. Through Slow Food, we can use food as an entry point for linking seemingly disparate issues such as environmental justice, agricultural pollution, biodiversity loss, obesity, urban sprawl, and even global climate change in understanding and in action. We have the chance to influence the direction of Slow Food. We are the future of the movement.

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We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our movement is founded upon this concept of eco-gastronomy – a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet.Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.

We consider ourselves co-producers, not consumers, because by being informed about how our food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in the production process.