The last time I was here in Colorado–exactly two years ago–the locals raved about an eccentric cafe in Manitou Springs, that enchanted western town resting at the base of Pikes Peak. The Waldo Canyon fire was ragging then, and the normally bustling town was nearly deserted (its evacuation status had only recently been lifted). My wife and I were amongst the only souls that morning in the highly popular Adam’s Mountain Cafe, an space which made you feel as if you were sitting in the parlor of an old Victorian hotel. The menu boasted a “Slow Food Manifesto”, something that only occurred to me last week as I made preparations from my home in Michigan to attend the Slow Meats symposium, beginning tomorrow in Denver. The Manifesto is an inspiring treatise of the animating spirit behind the Slow Foods movement.
This morning I learned that after severe flooding last summer, the cafe under whose spell we came two years ago had relocated. Both to honor the memory of that original, stately Adam’s Mountain Cafe and in commemoration of the Slow Meats symposium taking place in Denver this weekend, here is that treatise. May you find inspiration in it:
International Slow Food Manifesto
Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial revolution, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model. We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes, and forces us to eat Fast Foods.
To be worthy of the name, Homo sapiens should rid themselves of speed before it reduces them to a species in danger of extinction. A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and long lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency. Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.
In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only true progressive answer. That is what real culture is about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, products?
Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement with the little snail as its symbol.