In these days of fast food and fast cars, we may be living longer, but are we living better? Studies seem to indicate the opposite is true. Fast living, particularly eating fast, highly-processed foods have a negative effect on our life expectancy. Granted, by average people are living longer even in these days of processed foods and eating on the run, but this is due mostly to the advancements in science and medicine. It is not because we are living better.
The Slow Movement
The Slow Movement suggests we slow down our pace of living. It all started as a protest known at the time as Arcigola (slow, traditionally cooked foods with local ingredients) staged by Carlo Petrini in Rome because of the opening of a McDonald’s in the Piazza di Spagna in 1986. The Piazza di Spagna or Plaza of Spain is very close to the Column of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many saw this square as an almost holy territory as it was used by the Spanish delegation to the Embassy in Rome for Catholic masses and speeches by the Pope and other high priests and Cardinals.
In 1989, the name was changed to the Slow Movement when in Paris 15 countries signed the Slow Food pact to promote local, traditional food production.
The SLOW Acronym
The acronym S.L.O.W. was developed to promote the movement toward traditional, old-style foods:
S – Sustainable, sustainable food production, both vegetable and animal must be in harmony with the environment and focus on local production.
L – Local, this philosophy looks at buying agricultural and livestock locally vs buying from global markets. Help your neighbors instead of big corporations.
O – Organic, must be free from additives, not genetically modified, less processing such as irradiation, chemical ripening, and pesticides must not contain synthetics.
W – Whole, non-processed foods, such as unpasteurized and non-homogenized milk.
The Paleo Diet Phenomenon
It seems everywhere you look people are turning back the clock to a simpler life, the Paleo diet is a prime example. This diet, in most cases, is not a weight-loss diet as it is a way of life. It focuses on the foods that were eaten during the Paleozoic Era. Mostly what foods could be gathered, hunted, or caught fishing, once again foods that have not been processed and can be found locally.
This method of slow living is known by some as downshifting or self-imposed poverty. But, you need not live in poverty to live a slower life and enjoy living without all the materialistic gadgets and technology.
Wu Wei (Chinese 無爲), (Japanese 無為), & Korean 무위 (pronounced Moo-we)
Wu Wei is a traditional Taoist concept, which literally means not participating in the rat-race. In China, around 400 BC, it was a form of government. The government stayed out of the lives of the people and later in Europe, the French called this system Laissez-faire, or “leave it alone” a hands-off approach to marketing.
Contemporary Wu Wei concentrates on what we can control, slowing down our lives to live much simpler and less hectic lives to hopefully live longer, less stressful lives.
Avoid the Stress