Project Abstract

This project examines the Slow Food Manifesto for the ideas most salient and fundamental to the alternative food movement.

Project Description

This project takes dives into the study of Slow Food International. Slow Food International is a nonprofit whose name is largely synonymous with the alternative health movement. Their promotional materials echo many of the fundamental ideas and assumptions of the alternative food movement. As Slow Food International is a largely successful endeavor, I use its material to uncover the ideas that characterize the alternative health movement. By examining their manifesto through a communication perspective, I note that two lifestyle oriented narratives emerge. Slow Food, by locating their narratives in a process of "disciplining the narrative", I give discursive form to these two narratives in order to see which narrative becomes "disciplined", that is - which is marginalized, which is promoted. I arrive at the conclusion that slow food not only promotes, but politicizes a "slow food" lifestyle while actively constructing and marginalizing the "fast life" lifestyle.

Significance of Research

Slow Food local chapters have suffered from a brand dilution due to their organization covering a wide range of food-related activities and promotion. In finding the most salient ideas pushed by Slow Food International, hopefully I can find the best ideas that most effectively engage not only participants in the alternative food movement, but to better engage the public. In addition, I hope to give more definite form to the ideological base of the alternative food movement.


Goals of this reseaarch project are to:

  • Uncover the "fundamental" ideas of the alternative food movement.
  • Inform future efforts in promoting the alternative food movement.
    • Alternative food movement characterized by food system reform.
  • Discover which ideas of the "slow food" movement that have withstood time.

Major Findings and Contributions

Major findings:

  • Slow Food does promote a certain "slow food" lifestyle.
    • Sensitivity to the environment.
    • Seeking an alternative to 
    • Implicated corporations for unhealthy food systems.
    • Implicated globalization as contributing to maintaing unhealthy food systems on a global scale.
  • Manifesto is chock-full of rhetoric.
  • Slow Food may appeal to a distinct class.
  • Slow Food condemns the "fast life" lifestyle, and defines it vaguely in the manifesto.

Spatial Dimension

This research project's object of study - namely, the manifesto - encompasses a global scale. Given the fact that it was signed by many different countries, Slow Food International is first and foremost, a global movement.


Poster (click image to expand)

Reflective Essay


9500 Gilman Drive
San Diego, CA 92093
United States