Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

Slow Food Nation hits San Francisco today!  

I was headed downtown last night just as the sun was starting to set, right past the Victory Garden (which has managed to flourish in spite of its lackluster odds), weaving my way around the many trucks and tents being set up in Civic Center Plaza in preparation for the big event this weekend.  The three-day conference begins today, with events and forums and music and marketplaces and tastings all over the City.

SF usually empties out over the long Labor Day weekend, what with Burning Man and Tahoe and whatnot so close at hand, so I'm thrilled to see that we're due for an influx of forward-thinking foodies for the next few days.  Steven Winn at the Chron has a nice write-up preview of the conference; check it out for basics on the movement as well as critiques that will surely be popping up in other places as people dissect the goings-on here.  Here's a quick blurb:
In its rebuke of fast food, big agribusiness and global distribution and its embrace of local products, biological diversity, sustainability and the sensual delights of the table, food is a touchstone for everything from energy policy and net-roots politics to the ways Americans both seek and sabotage pleasure.
I like how Winn emphasizes pleasure as utmost in this movement.  It's easy to get caught up in the politics and ideologies of the whole thing, so lost in talk of commodification and globalization and environmentalism and poverty that we forget that at the end of the day, it's all about rediscovering the sensuality and the community and the joy involved in preparing and eating some delicious and healthy local food.  It really is a sensibility, a way of looking at the world at large.

We'll see how it shakes out this weekend.  We're due for some great music over near Fort Mason, as a part of Slow Food Rocks.  Sounds like everything's pretty much sold out, but do wander down to Civic Center for a taste of the Marketplace action, which is open to the public.  Last night they'd set up a gorgeous dinner party in the waning sunlight, complete with white lights and beautiful linens; the booths for local gardeners and proprietors were equally classy, complete with descriptions of their products, maps and personal tidbits.  I'm excited.

Read the Chron article, and then head over to www.slowfoodnation.org for all the dish.


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