August, 2009. SLOW FOOD INTERNATIONAL announces its newest regional chapter – SLOW FOOD YUCATÁN, based in Mérida, Yucatán.
David Sterling, proprietor of Los Dos Cooking School in Merida’s Centro Histórico, launched the chapter and established its first Board of Directors.
The Board includes (left to right) Aliza Mizrahi, Cristina Baker, Lucy Medina, David Sterling (Board Chairman), Monique Duval, Elizabeth Dunkel, Colleen Casey-Leonard and Mario Canul.
SLOW FOOD (www.slowfood.com) is a nonprofit, eco-gastronomic group that supports local production of food and healthy, enjoyable eating. There are 100,000 members in 132 countries. Local chapters support the international movement’s agenda and bring its philosophies to life.
“SLOW FOOD YUCATÁN celebrates the history and diversity of local food production in Yucatán and aims to preserve, promote and enjoy it for generations to come,” says Sterling.
“Our goal is to promote the healthy growing and eating of locally farmed and produced food, and to preserve the rich culinary heritage of the region. This in turn will provide economic benefits to the local farmers and artisanal producers, and healthy and delicious benefits for everyone who eats in Yucatán,” he adds.
SLOW FOOD YUCATÁN is the opposite of “fast food" and "junk food."
But Slow Food is not just a philosophy: it is a movement with tangible projects and results. The first projects of SLOW FOOD YUCATÁN include the publication of a directory of sustainable, organic food growers and artisanal food producers in Yucatán. The chapter is also investigating the development of rooftop organic gardens in Mérida’s Centro Histórico and elsewhere in the city. The group will also fundraise in order to help local farmers learn about organic growing and find a market for their produce. Another project of interest and one that has been successfully executed in other Slow Food chapters is healthy lunch kits and nutritional information for school children. And for the public, there will be tastings and tours to local area growers and food producers.
The chapter is actively soliciting members and volunteers to participate in its projects. “Basic” membership dues in SLOW FOOD YUCATÁN are only 5 Euros (about $93 pesos) per year, and “Individual” membership dues are only 35 Euros (about $645 pesos).
You can support Slow Food Yucatán initiatives by becoming a member. To join, go to www.slowfood.comand click on ‘JOIN US.’ Then choose, “MEXICO” and finally on the pull-down bar, select "Mérida Yucatán Convivium." Pay for your membership with a credit card. You will receive all the benefits of membership that are posted on the Slow Food Web site, as well as invitations to tastings and other events held by SLOW FOOD YUCATÁN.