Slow Food is catching up: will fast food disappear?

Fast food is not a new phenomenon, but slow food is. However, slow food is much more than just the opposite of fast food. Fast food indeed suits a fast-paced life and is still a good choice for many, despite the proven negative health effects of such “go-to foods”.

Since the early 20th century, the fast-paced world has adopted anything and everything, complementing fast lifestyles for improved productivity and time savings. Fast food became a rage for seekers quickly served, inexpensive and readily available, for on-the-go, order, drive-thru or on-time delivery-perfectly fit the needs of the time constraint generation. Although fast food has been a boon to the generation that has neither time to arrange the ingredients nor to cook, the ill effects of such readily available foods have become a major cause of health risks over the years.

However, the trend appears to be changing as the slow and steady movement of food has increased in recent years. People are becoming more health conscious and embracing the Slow Food concept, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Slow Food replaces the choice of fast food

Nowadays, buying a popsicle is much cheaper and easier than buying real fresh fruit. The health dangers of regularly eating junk food or foods full of preservatives have not gone unnoticed. Despite this, fast food is sold in large quantities, perhaps because it is quicker, easier and cheaper to get. While eating a proper home-cooked meal consumes time, resources, expense and energy. Josh Quarter, President of Slow Food USA, said, “Slow food shouldn’t be more expensive than fast food. It’s time we took back the value meal.

Many believe that Slow Food’s concept is for people who live slow lives, but Slow Food is about eating organically and naturally, adopting sustainable eating habits and following a healthy eating pace. Fast food can attract adjectives like “delicious”, “convenient” or “inexpensive”, but it does not necessarily have to be of high quality, otherwise it can severely affect the health of many.

NCIB research on “The Hidden Dangers of Fast Food and Processed Foods” states that there may be a link between fast food, processed foods, commercial baked goods and candy and the destruction of brain cells and a decrease in intelligence. Sweets and sweetened baked goods can even become addictive to the brain, which can lead to more serious illnesses.

The only food that gives pleasure to the human body is slow food, it is good for the brain and general health of everyone.

What is slow food and how is it different from fast food?

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Every corner of the world has its own traditional values ​​and cultures around producing, cooking, eating and serving food; The slow food movement basically supports these old ideas and ways of living and eating.

The Slow Food movement was started in Italy on December 10, 1989 by Folco Portinari Response to Fast Food and “Fast Life” and has since spread worldwide. The founding manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris, France in 1989 by delegates from 15 countries.

Some Slow Food campaigns work towards:

  • Fight against the use of pesticides
  • Promotion of local culinary traditions and foods
  • State support for genetic engineering
  • Teaching gardening to students and prisoners
  • Promoting ethical buying in local marketplaces
  • Education on the risks of monoculture and relying on too few genomes or varieties
  • Inclusion of the concerns of organic farming in agricultural policy

Slow Food will always come out on top among other types of food when it comes to overall benefits for healthy human survival. Here is the comparison between slow food and fast food:

Sharing vs antisocial eating

The Slow Food movement calls for attention to “what we eat, how mindfully we eat”, “how organically and naturally the ingredients in the food are produced. Unlike the fast food culture, which is often eaten quickly and is bad for digestion, it comes in individual plastic wrappers to make eating on the go easier, further encouraging antisocial eating habits.

Organic vs. preservatives

The slow food concept replaces the idea of ​​fast-paced modern life by embracing the sensual pleasures of eating, cooking and sharing. The farm-to-table concept fits perfectly with the idea of ​​eating healthy. Slow Food is prepared with the freshest and most natural ingredients. It’s a value system to fight against the harmful effects of fast food. Fast food comes with various chemicals and preservatives to maintain its long shelf life. Fast food is usually made in bulk with various chemicals and packed in plastic bags to preserve its lifespan and stored in freezers for a long time. This reduces the nutritional value of foods, making them unsuitable for our digestive systems.

Quality serving vs. quick serving

Slow Food is about understanding the sources of food production, which must be fresh and natural, their cooking methods, how they are served and the way they are absorbed into the body. Another study published by the National Library of Medicine on the Frequency of consumption of home-cooked meals and potential nutritional and health benefits concluded that “more frequent consumption of home-cooked meals was associated with better diet quality and lower obesity”. Ready meals or fast food, after cooling, must be microwaved or reheated before consumption. This adds more oil to the fire as the chemicals and preservatives in the packaged foods and ingredients become more harmful when reheated.

Health vs Obesity

Fast food companies often indulge in marketing strategies and attractive promotions such as “buy one, get one free”, “fine dining”, “combo dining”, surprises, free meal coupons, etc. that consumers end up buying more than they are hungry at all. While slow food eating habits involve taking more time than usual to chew each bite and spending more time at the dinner table, you may find that you need less food to feel full. An NCIB study titled The Hidden Dangers of Fast and Processed Foods* showed that excess calories shorten lifespan, while moderate calorie restriction slows aging and protects the body and brain.

Eco-friendly vs polluting

Fast food encourages the plastic packaging industry to market their products in the most fashionable ways, while homemade and traditional foods require minimal impact on the environment, and the by-product of such foods is completely eco-friendly.

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Although people are becoming more cautious about their health and food choices, it’s a long way back to where we started. In 2017, American digital brand Epicurious author David Tamarkin said the art of “home cooking is dying”.

Fast food consumption is a global phenomenon, according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine. India’s fast food industry, which is growing at a rate of 40% each year, ranks 10th in per capita fast food spending, accounting for 2.1% of total annual spending.

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