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Slow Food Movement Essay

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Introduction

Fast food and slow food both play an important role in the lives of many people and it has an immense impact on world resource sharing. Both the fast food industry and slow food movement have major implications in relation to food production, food distribution, environmental impact, economic impact and social impact. The idea of taverns and coffee houses were popular for social gatherings and sharing of beverages in the 17th century, however the industry of eating outside of home did not launch into the Western Society until the late 18th Century. The idea of eating outside of home was the beginning of the fast food industry, which refers to meals or foods which are readily available and can be prepared and served very quickly. These are generally packaged foods and involve businesses where food is eaten on the premises where there are no waiters or waitresses. For example, McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's or Fish and Chip shops. Fast foods are generally foods which are not prepared by the consumer; however the consumers may complete the cooking process by heating it up. Consumers, shareholders and other stakeholders are beginning to look at the fast food industry and increase their demand for enhanced accountability of food production. ...read more.

Middle

This in turn results in the growth in the industry and provides many job opportunities. Economic impact is estimated to increase, however there are also challenges due to the increased food prices. "In the year ahead, the industry's sales are projected to continue to increase, with a total economic impact that exceeds $1.5 trillion, yet at the same time, the industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the economic recession and elevated food prices." (Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO). The transportation of the fast food also impacts the economy and adds to the concern of elevated food prices, as shipping foods is significantly more costly than locally grown produce. It has been argued that as people are constantly surrounded by food, eating is no longer out of hunger but often for social reasons. For example, when friends go out, it is only natural to go out for a bite or a cup of coffee, and thus choosing fast food options. Busy lifestyles also means that the time available to spend in supermarkets and kitchens are limited and the convenience of fast foods becomes hard to resist. This idea of convenience food reduces the opportunity of cooking a nice meal together and sitting around a table and enjoying the meal together. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Programs that emphasize community gardens, food education and local businesses bolster the local economy, keep money within the locality, develop knowledge about food and health, and begin to shape one's local and world view." Through developing and encouraging local production chains, slow food reduces the global transfer of food and money, thus putting focus back on the local communities. As slow food encourages local communities, the focus is placed onto the people of the community. The slow food movement provides an opportunity for people to be able to cook together or sit together to have a meal in which they can chat rather than eat a meal without interaction with others. The slow food movement regards the consumption of fast food as a relatively meaningless act which prevents opportunities of socialising, thus it promotes the pleasure and enjoyment in food. Although the advancement of the Fast Food industry has provided more and cheaper dining opportunities; it has come with the price of destroying the environment, economy, and small-town communities while protecting the consumers from the real costs of their convenient meals, both in terms of health and the diverse impact of large-scale food production and processing on workers, animals, and land. Therefore; it is hard to deny that the slow food movement, which is promoting the delight and gratification in food while protecting the environment and cultural heritage, is not preferred to the fast food industry. ...read more.

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