With Lily Belluz, Slow Food Kids Leader (Interviewed by Jodi Belluz)
After three meetings, Slow Food Kids (official name still to be decided) is off the ground and running. The group has been meeting in the Chapter’s Community Room with help from adult Slow Food Superior “facilitator,” Jay Stewart. They’ve elected an executive with an experimental six month term and a multitude of food ideas are now being explored. I caught up with Lily Belluz, Slow Food Kids’ first Leader, in our kitchen while preparing Easter dinner. She had this to say about the newly formed Slow Food Kids:
Jodi: Tell me about Slow Food Kids: where did the idea start?
Lily: I think that the idea came from wanting people to eat better food and my interest in Slow Food adults. Also from wanting kids my age (and younger and older) to start eating better foods so that when they’re adults they’ll keep eating that way and so will their own children.
J: Did you know any other kids who were feeling the same way?
L: Yes. A lot of my friends. But, I think it was only the kids who were sons and daughters of Slow Food adult members.
J: So why did you and your friends decide that starting a Slow Food Kids group was a good way to help kids eat better?
L: I think we decided that because we have easy access to some of the things that the Slow Food adults group does because our parents are involved in it. You know, if we need help with something, like some sort of project, we can ask them for help. Also, because our parents are in Slow Food, we know a lot of things about food already.
J: What has been happening at the meetings?
L: Well, we have decided that for field trips we should go to local places that we know have good food and we’ve decided on a few. But we also had an idea to go to a McDonald’s restaurant because we know it has food that is not good for the earth and because we would like to see what they do to make it not good for the earth, and we also learned that they do tours of their kitchen so that we could actually do that. And we think that our first field trip we’re going on is going to be to Thunder Oak Cheese Farm. Our adult supervisor, Jay Stewart, is looking into this. We’ve said a bunch of things but it would take way too long to explain.
J: Wow. Sounds like there are lots of ideas and plans happening. Have other kids now joined the group?
L: Yes. There’s been quite a lot. We started out with eight other kids, not including myself. And that was a good start. But now over time, more and more people came to our meetings.
J: That’s great. Now, if you would speak on behalf of Slow Food Kids, what do you think some of your biggest challenges will be?
L: Well, if we talk in schools or to our other school friends, who don’t eat very earth friendly, I think it will be hard to convince them to try and eat better because they are already addicted to the food they eat. And they’ll probably try and defend themselves – like you do in an argument. That’s what I think will be the hardest part.
J: Yep, that probably will be a challenge. How do you think you could help them to open their minds to different ideas about food?
L: I think that if we invited a bunch of our friends together and cooked a meal together with good, local, seasonal food and then ate it together to see how they liked it, and then maybe they would like to talk to their parents about it.
J: I think you’re right. Sharing good food and bringing people around a table is always a good place to start! Is there anything else you’d like to share about Slow Food Kids?
L: I just really hope that Slow Food Kids in Thunder Bay can make a difference in the world. Because eating good food is just a part of what’s happening to our earth. And I just want something better.
For more info about Slow Food Kids please email firstname.lastname@example.org