How Local is Slow Food?


At the heart of the sustainable food movement are a series of dichotomies, often used interchangeably, with those at one end of the spectrum (local, organic, slow, and artisanal) being elided into a single, unified ideology in neat opposition to another (global, conventional, fast, industrial). Yet the reality is varied and complex: “food localization” does not neatly stand opposed to all forms of globalization any more than it neatly allies with every organic agricultural practice, Slow Food activity, or artisanal food production method. In this article, Daniel Philippon looks at local food and how it coincides with Slow Food, given that Slow Food constitutes both a distinctive articulation of the local food movement and the closest thing to an institutional embodiment of that movement as we are likely to find.