If anything is going to stall the Slow Food movement – outside of politically motivated policy disasters – it is the price of a lot of healthy, local, fresh food. For a lot of reasons, that could be changed if we had the will, fresh food costs more than food that is overly processed and filled with stuff we can’t recognize. And of course that has a disproportionate impact on folks with lower incomes.
It is morally wrong that poor people don’t have the same access to healthy food as better off people. And groups like Slow Food are working to change that. But we can also do things now – community gardens come to mind as one example – to address this need. City officials, along with health care companies UW Health, St. Mary’s Hospital, Group Health and Meriter Hospital, are providing another example by helping food-stamp recipients buy more fresh food at local farmer’s markets. Shoppers at four Madison farmer’s markets will get a dollar for dollar match of up to thirty dollars to spend at the participating markets. That’s smart. It’s fair. And we love it.