About Us

Slow Food USA is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America. From the spice of Cajun cooking to the purity of the organic movement; from animal breeds and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables to handcrafted wine and beer, farmhouse cheeses and other artisanal products; these foods are a part of our cultural identity. They reflect generations of commitment to the land and devotion to the processes that yield the greatest achievements in taste. These foods, and the communities that produce and depend on them, are constantly at risk of succumbing to the effects of the fast life, which manifests itself through the industrialization and standardization of our food supply and degradation of our farmland. By reviving the pleasures of the table, and using our tastebuds as our guides, Slow Food U.S.A. believes that our food heritage can be saved.

Slow Food USA believes that pleasure and quality in everyday life can be achieved by slowing down, respecting the convivial traditions of the table and celebrating the diversity of the earth’s bounty. Our goal is to put the carriers of this heritage on center stage and educate our membership on the importance of these principles. We hope you will join us.

Slow Food USA oversees Slow Food activities in North America, including the support and promotion of the activities of numerous local chapters that carry out the Slow Food mission on a local level. Each chapter advocates sustainability and biodiversity through educational events and public outreach that promote the appreciation and consumption of seasonal and local foods and the support of those who produce them.

We invite you to join our table and become a member of Slow Food USA.

As a Slow Food member, you’ll become an active participant in a growing network of individuals dedicated to improving food in this country.

To join Slow Food call (877) SlowFood or sign up online at the Slow Food USA web-site.

Slow Food South Bay – Chapter By-laws

Slow Food South Bay approved its by-laws at the Annual Meeting on January 24, 2011. You can download a copy here (PDF)

Slow Food South Bay Leadership Team (Board members and Leadership Team Members)

Mary Petron Bottega, Chapter Chair, has been passionate about using only the freshest of ingredients when preparing her meals ever since 1980, when she lived in Italy, where daily shopping at markets or corner stores was the norm. With her move to the Golden State late that year, Mary was delighted to find a continuous supply of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and local orchards. She has attended numerous Slow Food events since becoming a member in the Fall of 1999. She firmly believes in – and lives – the “Buy Fresh Buy Local” creed.

Pat (Patricia) Nichols, Chapter Vice-Chair, has been an active gardener since the age of 10 and an organic gardener in Campbell for 46 years. For the past decade since retiring from teaching at SJSU, she has been learning to develop her cooking skills and improve her gardening techniques. Workshops through Common Ground in Palo Alto and John Jeavons’ research garden in Willits have greatly improved her fruit and vegetable production, and cookbooks like those by Jessie Cool, Molly Kazen, and Laura Stec have introduced her to new worlds of flavor

Pat (Patrick) Moran, Chapter Secretary, got his introduction to the importance of thinking about food from his father, who emigrated from rural Ireland. As a child Patrick did not fully appreciate why his Dad would insist upon food based on simple, quality ingredients not processed food. In those early years Patrick had a hard time accepting that there would be no Wonder Bread on the Moran table, but now with the perspective of many more years, he realizes that his Dad was actually ahead of his time. Nowadays Patrick starts with his CSA box of veggies and does his best to prepare quality, healthy meals. In Slow Food Patrick sees some of the same ideals that he was brought up with, and hopes to foster through our South Bay chapter.

Dagmar Logie, Chapter Treasurer  Slow Food’s principles resonate with Dagmar, who grew up in post-war Austria, when food was scarce and families relied totally on locally grown food. Pulling fresh carrots from the garden, picking cherries off a farmer’s tree, gathering wild mushrooms in the woods were formative childhood memories. Similar opportunities need to be created, especially in our sub/urban environments, where the knowledge of the source of food is often absent. Dagmar considers it important to pass on one’s own family traditions of cooking, as it represents our cultural heritage. Preparing meals with fresh ingredients and sharing them with family and friends over conversation is one of life’s most satisfying and simplest pleasures.

Leadership Team Members:  Mary Clark Bartlett, Jessica Campbell, Ann Duwe, Jessie Herr, Judee Humburg, Joni Sare, Scott Vanderlip, and Peter Yessne.

Guiding Principles

Sustainability

  • recognizing the interdependence of people with one another and with our environment
  • caring for the land and protecting biodiversity for today’s communities and future generations
  • promoting pure food that is local, seasonal and organically grown

Cultural Diversity

  • recognizing food as a language that expresses cultural diversity
  • preserving the myriad traditions of the table
  • cultivating and reinvigorating a sense of community and place

Pleasure and Quality in Everyday Life

  • celebrating the diverse expressions of our earth’s bounty
  • appreciating and encouraging creativity, passion and beauty
  • respecting and supporting artisans who grow, produce, market, prepare and serve wholesome food

Inclusiveness

  • following democratic principles in a spirit of sharing and service
  • educating members and others about Slow Food’s mission
  • dedicating ourselves to local cooperation and global collaboration

Authenticity and Integrity

  • insuring our values are embodied by all staff, board members and chapter leaders
  • manifesting these values in all of our events, projects and publications
  • committing ourselves to partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations

The Slow Food Manifesto

Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.

We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.

To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction.

A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.

May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.

Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.

In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.

That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects?

Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement, with the little snail as its symbol.