Slow Food International is a global grassroots organization with supporters who are linking the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment in 150 countries. It was founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions, and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes, and how their food choices affect the rest of the world. Today, the organization has over 100,000 members in 1,300 convivia—or local chapters—worldwide, as well as a network of more than 2,000 food communities that are preserving traditional and sustainable food production. Slow Food works to ensure that everyone can enjoy good, clean, and fair food.
A 2016 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported The Ark of Taste, an online catalogue that grows day by day, gathering alerts from people who saw the flavors of their childhood disappear, taking with them a piece of the culture and history of which they are a part. With the grant, 160 different Arc of Taste products from producers in Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan were verified, compiled, and translated. The products were then uploaded to the group’s website, allowing people from all over the world to learn about the cultural heritage flavors.
A 2019 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network went towards supporting grassroots work with local communities sustaining food sovereignty, sustainability and promoting agroecological practices and small scale farmer communities; Organizing Terra Madre Burkina Faso, an aimed at creating connections between all the different food system stakeholders, sharing best practices and raising awareness; and to raising awareness at a global level regarding the importance of West African Biodiversity.
The Cultures of Resistance Network supported Slow Food’s One Thousand Gardens in Africa project by funding 5 gardens in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mauritania, and Somalia. We are creating 1000 fruit and vegetable gardens in 26 countries in Africa along with local partners who design and implement all stages of the project. The gardens follow the Slow Food guidelines of producing good, clean, and fair food, saving traditional seeds and plant varieties, promoting local food heritage and culture, increasing food security, and educating communities about food sovereignty.
In addition to support from the Cultures of Resistance Network, director iara lee arranged an outside grant for Slow Food Palestine in 2022 to support a Khabiya (traditional seed house) for heirloom seeds in Ramallah district. The main goal of the Khabiya is to collect, reproduce, and disseminate free heirloom seeds for farmers in order to bring back local seeds as a main pillar of agro-ecology and food sovereignty.