Have you heard about the slow food movement? A lot of people have had enough of junk food and what it seems to be doing to our health and society as a whole. For these reasons, the slow food movement was set up.

The basic ethos of the movement is about getting back to basics when it comes to food. It’s buying in season and local. It’s about supporting our local economy and eating food that’s simple, clean, basic and good for you. It seems we truly have gone full circle and many of us are ready to give up the fast food movement that has dominated our society for decades now and move onto slower, more nourishing nutrition.

If you feel the slow food movement may be something you’d like to join or contribute to, here are a few basic ideas to help get you started:

#1 – Buy local. This is a big emphasis of the slow food movement. By buying foods locally, we support local farming and agriculture. Local foods are also better for the environment as they don’t have to be transported for miles to reach supermarket shelves. Another bonus of buying local foods is that they’re more nutritious. After vegetables and fruits are picked, they slowly start to lose their nutrition content. By eating foods earlier after the picking process you take in more nutrients and vitamins.

#2 – Eat in season. Buying local will mean that you naturally eat what is in season. Many experts believe that we are meant to eat what is in our local environment so that we can survive those conditions. For example, in hot climates the emphasis is on watery fruits and vegetables like strawberries, cucumbers, melons, peppers. These foods contribute to our overall need for more fluid and vitamins needed during hot weather. In colder climates our bodies need filling, stocky foods such as potatoes and other root vegetables.

Eating in season is not only good for your health but also for your pocket book. Eating seasonally allows you to get the best produce without having to pay a fortune for it. Foods that need to be imported cost more because there is a higher cost in acquiring and transporting them. By eating in season you support your body, the environment and local farmers.

#3 – Cook from scratch. This doesn’t mean you have to make difficult, time-consuming meals. In fact, the slow food movement emphasises the opposite. You can cook delicious, wholesome meals from scratch with very few ingredients. The key is to cook a variety of fresh, seasonal foods without resorting to pre-prepared foods or junk food.

Cooking from scratch is good for your overall health as you avoid many additives and preservatives. It also saves you money. Pre-packaged foods cost on average more than fresh foods. And with only three or four ingredients you can cook a really delicious meal the whole family is sure to enjoy.

#4 – Make food a priority. A big part of the slow food movement is that we can once again make food a priority in our lives. This movement is about connecting with and enjoying our food. It’s also about families taking a little time to spend more time together, around the family table.

While this isn’t always possible in modern times, the idea is that if parents start putting more emphasis on the importance of family meals, children will follow suit. By showing our children that food is meant to be pleasurable and enjoyed rather than gulped down or rushed, we start to show them the basics of good nutrition.

The slow food movement is a sign of progress for many. It shows that as communities we feel the need to connect to our food and each other. Eating fresh foods, supporting our communities and the environment, and coming together around the family table, are positive steps into the future.