Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation that was founded in Italy in the late 1980s by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists. Their aim was to defend regional traditions, gastronomic pleasure, good food, and a slow pace of life. Several decades later and the Slow Food Movement has evolved in order to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognises the strong connections between the food on our plates and the planet, people, politics, and culture.

Slow Food UK

The Slow Food Movement involves millions of people in over 150 countries, including the UK. Slow Food UK work hard to reinvigorate people’s interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, and how our food choices affect the world around us. Local food traditions and the years of accrued knowledge and culture are important and should be preserved and enjoyed. Slow Food actively promotes the enjoyment of good food, as well as the food production systems responsible for providing good, clean, and fair food for everyone.

The Slow Meat Movement

Here at Peelham Farm we agree with Slow Food’s opinion on meat – that the way in which it is currently produced and consumed is unsustainable, and has a detrimental effect on the environment, human health, animal welfare, and small-scale farmers. The solution to this is quite simple: eat better meat, and eat less of it. Consider the origin of the meat, support small-scale producers, and pay a fair price for good quality meat.

At one time animals were kept on grazing land, before being slaughtered and processed on the farm nearby. This form of production has all but disappeared today, and the modern industrialised production of meat is driven by speed and quantity.

Here are a few facts that should get you thinking more about the meat you consume:

  • In the UK each person eats around 50kg of meat per year – that’s roughly twice the world average!
  • UK consumers throw away an estimated £2.1 billion worth of meat every year.
  • 75% of the world’s agricultural land is used to raise animals for food.
  • Over 15,000 litres of water is required to produce just one kilogram of beef.
  • The livestock sector is estimated to account for 14.5% of the global total Greenhouse gas emissions – this is more than the direct emissions from the transport sector!

How can eating better meat help?

If we all choose to eat better meat and remain conscious of where our meat comes from and the journey it takes to get to our plate, we’ll be helping to create:

  • Improved working environment for meat producers.
  • Better quality of life for animals.
  • More complex and delicious flavours.
  • Healthier food in local economies.
  • Plant and animal diversity in the field.

By eating less meat we can help to reduce the carbon emissions involved in the production of meat, as well as the following:

  • More opportunities to explore the flavours of vegetables and grains, thus promoting a healthier diet.
  • Frugality and inspiration in the kitchen; Love Food Hate Waste have some great tips to help you make more of your food.
  • Resilient ecosystems that are less threatened by environmental damage.

Many modern consumers are ignorant when it comes to understanding where their meat comes from, and this makes people lose sight of the true cost of cheap meat. As economic prosperity fades, our desire for cheap meat grows, and we find ourselves trapped in a culture of confinement. Slow Food UK promotes small-scale farmers, like Peelham Farm, encouraging consumers to care how their meat has been treated in life and post-slaughter until it reaches their plates.