The Slow Food movement and Martha’s Vineyard have a lot in common, and not just in our delight in eating locally grown plants and animals.
In the 1970s McDonald’s set its sights on the Island, targeting an area along the Vineyard Haven harbor. But the people said no. A grass roots campaign sent fast food packing.
Similarly, in Italy in 1986 the voracious appetite of McDonald’s spurred another movement that harkened back to a simpler and healthier time.
McDonald’s wanted to build a new franchise on the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, a majestic site dating back to the 1500’s. Carlo Petrini led the way in deterring McDonald’s with a rallying cry in defense of “quiet material pleasure as the only way to oppose the universal folly of the fast life.”
Over the years, the Slow Food movement has become a way of life for many, and at the very least something to aspire to for the rest of us. Mr. Petrini was named Hero of the Year by Time Magazine and one of the 50 people who could save the planet by the Guardian.
On Tuesday, August 23, Mr. Petrini is coming to Martha’s Vineyard. The event is being hosted by Slow Food of Martha’s Vineyard and takes place at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.
Under Mr. Petrini’s leadership Slow Food chapters around the world include over 100,000 members in 150 countries. He is also the author of four books on the subject of food and in 2004 founded the University for Gastronomic Sciences, a school in Italy intended to bridge the gap between agriculture and gastronomy.
As Mr. Petrini has said, “The quest for slowness, which begins as a simple rebellion against the impoverishment of taste in our lives, makes it possible to rediscover taste.” He is talking most forcibly about food, but this focus on a different, slower way reverberates into all facets of our lives.
Mr. Petrini’s talk begins at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are available at ticketsmv.com and Alley’s General Store, Fiddlehead Farm, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Edgartown Books, the Black Sheep and daRosa’s. Premium seating is $20, general seating is $10.
For more details, call slowfoodmarthasvineyard.org.