Slow Food Movement comes to Fort Collins

Rachel Fountain

Slow Food, the global movement to promote regional cuisine and sustainability, has planted its first roots in Fort Collins this semester.

Slow Food first began in Italy in 1986 when a man named Carlo Petrini created the organization to resist the increased presence of fast-food restaurants in Rome. Since then, the Slow Food movement has gained international popularity and has branches in countries all over the world.

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There are Slow Food offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, and as of this semester, the movement has come to Fort Collins. As described on the Slow Food Fort Collins Facebook page, they are “a conscience community of students and Fort Collins residents who come together to celebrate the beauty of clean, fair and local food.”

The group hosts events such as tours, workshops and potlucks, all with the goal of promoting sustainable foods and local businesses. This year Slow Food hosted three dinners, one of which was all about Colorado food. All the dishes were created using exclusively local ingredients.

Emma Giloth, president of Slow Food Fort Collins, says she first heard about Slow Food from her business partner in Senegal, who was the Slow Food representative for that region.

In Fort Collins, Slow Food is registered as a student group with the University. In order to be registered as a student group, only 50% of the members must be CSU students, which Giloth explained is a much easier process than registering as a city group.

As a university organization, Slow Food has collaborated with other, similarly-minded groups at CSU like the Nutrition Club, but they hope to connect with groups outside the university as well. Slow Food may be registered as a student group but they are open to all community members.

“There’s a lot of other initiatives in northern Colorado about food and agriculture,” Giloth said, “We want that network with the outside community.”

 The exchange of ideas is key to Slow Food. The Slow Food branches adapt themselves to the needs and wants of the communities they are in, and Slow Food Fort Collins hopes to do the same.

“There’s all these different areas we can go in, we’re still figuring out what people are interested in,” Giloth said, “We want to get people engaged, to meet together and talk to each other.”

In addition to supporting local businesses, local food and sustainable practices, Slow Food Fort Collins also aspires to promote the pleasure and comradery food can bring a community. “It’s also about the joy of eating together,” Giloth said.

The group is planning more events for next fall, including workshops and events that will showcase local cuisine, such as the craft breweries in Fort Collins and a creamery in Loveland.

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For more information, visit the Slow Food Fort Collins Facebook page.

Collegian Arts and Culture reporter Rachel Fountain can be reached at @collegian.com or on Twitter @rachelcfountain.