Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Slow Food Fest: Spend More To Get More

Christine Barbour acknowledges that eating slow food is more expensive than the fast, cheap, and easy alternative. But she says it's totally worth it.

Slow Food Fest poster

Photo: Slow Food Bloomington

Admission ticket to the Slow Food Fest buys you food from all the vendors. Beer and wine are available at a cash bar.

Foodie Paradise

On Sunday August 14, Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana will be transformed into a foodie paradise. The Slow Food Fest is a tasting of small courses prepared by Bloomington’s best chefs the Slow Food way – from the luscious and seasonal products raised right in our back yard.

The event is a fundraiser for Slow Food Bloomington, a local branch of the international organization whose aim it is to “fight the encroaching wave of fast food culture by promoting a way of eating that is local, seasonal, leisurely, and convivial.”

Fast, Cheap, And Easy

As great as that sounds, Americans simply don’t prioritize their eating in this way. According to the organization’s co-director, Christine Barbour, Americans spend less on food than almost any other country. But she does acknowledge that eating in the slow food way is more expensive.

It is an expensive way to eat, especially if you belong to a culture that says spend as little on our food as we can. If that’s the way you’re thinking about food, then yes, going to the farmers market and buying Capriole Farms goat cheese and some grass-fed beef from Fiedler Farms is more expensive than going to Marsh and getting what’s cheap that day.

Getting Their Message Heard

She thinks about the issue of how much to spend on food in two ways. 1) Spend more money on more healthful food now so that we save money in the long run. 2) If more folks eat locally and sustainably, the demand for this food will increase and the prices will, therefore, decrease.

It’s also important to peddle the message to the right group of people. Barbour says that telling people who have been enjoying “a bag of Doritos and a six-pack of beer and a big pot of spaghetti or bags of McDonald’s” for 50 years of their life that there is a better way to eat is ineffective.

Instead, she wants to speak to children.

“I think you talk to little kids and say, ‘Taste this carrot right out of the ground. How good is that? Tastes like candy, doesn’t it?’” She says that way they can think about what they want to eat, how they want to eat, where their food comes from and why it matters.

Drool Over The Menu

13 area restaurants and food vendors are joining forces for this event. Beer and wine by local producers will also be available at a cash bar.

A ticket to the event will get you tastes of all these dishes:

  • Bloomingfoods: Hickory Smoked Chicken with Local Peach Relish
  • BLU Boy Chocolate Café and Cakery: Fresh Graber Farms Peach Ice Cream with Rhodes Farm Eggs and Traders Point Creamery Milk
  • FARMbloomington: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” Watermelon & Feta Salad
  • Feast Bakery Café: Prosciutto Wrapped Sweet Corn Polenta, Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula & Eggplant; Crème Brûlée Bites.
  • Finch’s Brasserie: Duck with Orange Harissa Glaze & Spicy Slaw
  • Happy Pig: Pork Belly BLTs
  • Indiana Memorial Union: Arepas of Carne Asada of Fischer Farms Beef
  • Malibu Grill: Fischer Farms Beef Chili and all the Fixin’s
  • Nick’s English Hut: Italian Beef Sandwiches, Grilled Onions and Peppers
  • One World Catering & Events: Three Tomato Gazpacho and Loesch Farm Fiery Thai Pork Dumplings
  • Recess (Indianapolis): Hoosier Panzanella Salad
  • Restaurant Tallent: Gunthorp Farms Pork Tacos with House-Made Queso Freco and All the Fixings
  • Upland: Pastrami Sandwiches, House-Made Pickles, Horseradish Mayonnaise, Local Corn and Raspberry Sorbet

Event Information

The Slow Food Fest takes place on Kirkwood Avenue between Indiana and Dunn Streets on Sunday, August 14 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance (available at Bloomingfoods, BLU Boy Café and Cakery, FARMbloomington, Finch’s Brasserie, Lennie’s, and Restaurant Tallent) or $40 at the door.

The admission ticket buys you food samples from all the vendors. Beer and wine from Bloomington Brewing Co., Upland, Oliver Winery and Southern Wines and Spirits are available at a cash bar.

Proceeds go to support Slow Food Bloomington activities.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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