Stay Healthy and Local-Friendly

After my friend and I ran into a farmer market in Minami-Aoyama, the chill and healthy vibe of such an event leave me a great impression. We got to walk around the open-air space where the food trucks and stands sold local and organic food and products. The tables are provided in the middle, surrounded by food trucks. It had been a while since I got to enjoy a leisurely lunch with much chitchat and waves of laughter with the strangers who just sat by us. The friendly atmosphere of eating healthy and "knowing the producers" reminded me of the newly trending concept — SLOW FOOD!

Slow food is the opposite concept of fast food, such as McDonald's or KFC! It promotes the idea of taking time to enjoy meals, quality time, and bond with the community. These community-run markets, where the farmers and artisans offer quality and healthy products to consumers, pull in the distance between people, and maintain environmental sustainability. Local food culture and biodiversity can both be preserved at the same time!

  • Environmental Sustainability: The cost and the waste of packaging can be exempted from the food localization system. Food localization does not require packaging as much as industrial food. Besides, the ecological footprint is reduced as food transportation is shortened and in turn less pollution. Last but not least, organic practices bring back biodiversity and the fertility of the soil. The sustainability of the environment is regained with the above benefits. Come on! Do we necessarily have to eat vegetables from far away when you can access them just in your town or any place closer to you!

  • Revitalization of Local Economies: How many of us know the producers of the food we are consuming nowadays? I assume few for city kids. Farmers’ markets, where local farmers can directly sell food to consumers have featured largely in the slow food movement. The goal is to maintain dollars in the community. With money in the local economy, the local farmers are enabled to buy more supplies from local companies and hire more local labor than their counterparts in the wholesale market. Consequently, $1 million in revenue from direct-market farms develops almost 32 local jobs while the same amount of revenue from the larger corporations only creates 10.5 jobs locally. The statistics indicate the increasing multiplier has effectively strengthened the local economy and fosters more job opportunities. Farmers’ markets bring the communities together in a beneficial way.

Some people may think eating healthy can be a bit bougie. Well, the price might be high if talking about creative meals featuring organic ingredients in fancy restaurants. However, slow food is about the re-localization of food enabling everyone to have fair access to healthy food at a fair price. I hope this article opened the door for you to know the concept of SLOW FOOD! To know more about it, search "slow food international", it is a high possibility that you find their foundation in your country.

  1. 1. Buying directly from farmers has outsized impact on local economy, UC Davis study finds (source)