At this past weekend's 7th annual Seedy Saturday event at Sault College, SooToday.com ditched fast food to learn about the slow food movement from Tim Kelly.
Mr. Kelly is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Chapter of Slow Food Canada, an international not-for-profit movement that aims to broaden the awareness of local goods and strives to preserve traditional and regional produce.
The story goes that the international slow food movement began in Italy in 1986 as a means to protest the proposed opening of a McDonald's franchise near the Spanish Steps in Rome.
"The emphasis of slow food is to celebrate and enjoy healthy, tasty local fare that was raised with sensitivity to the environment and supports local food producers," Kelly explained.
Taking part in the slow food movement can be as easy as visiting the local Farmers' Market, Kelly said, or cultivating your own home or community garden.
Understanding that not everything shoppers may desire can be produced within the confines of the Algoma District, Kelly told us that the term 'local' can be somewhat subjective depending on where you wish to draw the boundries.
For example, purchasing Ontario fresh produce, cheese and wine is in fact supporting the slow food movement.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the slow food movement can visit slowfood.ca or contact Tim Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking of slow food, Seedy Saturday event co-organizer Suzanne Hanna told us that, despite the current weather conditions, there's plenty that local gardeners can do now to prepare for the upcoming growing season.
This includes organizing your seed catalogue with organic or open-pollinated seeds, scouting local garden centres and learn the types of seeds they provide, and online research to learn what and how to grow in our area.
As the chair of Seeds of Diversity Canada, Hanna encourages growers to share and save seeds, and hopes to one day build a local sustainable seed bank to combat the alarming loss of plant varieties available to farmers and gardeners.
Many plant varieties are being replaced with new engineered hybrids, she told us, and a number of traditional varieties have been patterned by large corporations so they are no longer available to consumers.
"Our job is not to rant and rave," she said. "Our job is to educate the public and to provide them with the tools to make better choices, and to support small-scale seed producers."
For more information about Seedy Saturday events and Seeds of Diversity Canada, please click here