Slow Food

Access to clean food is a basic human rights issue; hence my passion for the Slow Food movement.

I like food. You may have guessed as much by perusing the 700 recipes on my website. You may also notice that it is gluten-free, grain-free recipes that have appeared here since 2006, the year I launched this site. In fact, I have been on a grain-free diet for more than a decade. Not because I think it’s the “right” way to eat; I follow it because it works for me. I can’t digest grains. And I’m glad that I figured that out on my culinary journey, which started in my mid 20’s.

This blog is my views of food, that’s why it’s called “Elana’s Pantry,” not “Gluten-Free Pantry” or “Paleo Pantry.” It’s a collection of ideas that I have for better living, reflections on how to make food, how to store food, how to enjoy and celebrate food.

My passion for food fuels my work on this website. I believe that all people deserve access to clean food, that this is one of the most basic human rights issues of our time. It is these principals that have drawn me to the Slow Food movement for decades.

This week I had the incredible honor of sitting with two of the most influential people in the Slow Food crusade. I had lunch with Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, and Richard McCarthy, Executive Director of Slow Food USA. These men are the philospher-poets of this movement whose words inspire me to move toward an ideal, one that that can become a reality in our lifetime –the right to clean food for all. As Petrini told us. “Our revolution is to understand our evolution.” It is statements such as these that make me think of Petrini as the Aristotle of the food rights movement.

Over lunch Petrini and I (with his interpreter parrying our exchange in our respective languages), agreed that the food movement is a big umbrella and largely overlapping with environmentalism. We also spent some time agreeing about what it is not –it’s not about being afraid of food. It’s not about counting calories –food is not math. It is about passion. A passion for life, and food is life.

Food triggers humanity’s most basic of urges, and is our common bond. We all need to eat. So today instead of posting a recipe for a dish, I’m posting a recipe for life –Slow Food. I’m celebrating our appetite for the good, by writing about this magnificent movement, the movement for clean food, and the organization that supports it.

What is Slow Food? Here is a description from Wikipedia:

Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. The movement has expanded globally to over 100,000 members in 150 countries. Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products…In 2004, Slow Food opened a University of Gastronomic Sciences at Pollenzo, in Piedmont, and Colorno, in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Carlo Petrini and Massimo Montanari are the leading figures in the creation of the University, whose goal is to promote awareness of good food and nutrition.

If you are interested, visit Slow Food USA’s website. Or, look up your local chapter of Slow Food (there are more than 200 across the USA). Or, hold your gratitude before your meal for just an extra moment the next time you eat.


  1. Rachel says

    I loved this post. I am a Family Dinner Night intern for Slow Food UW Madison. We are the largest college run slow food branch and our passion and vision lines up with exactly what you said!

  2. says

    Hello Elana,

    I’m a Slow Food member in Italy and have just discovered your blog, which looks really interesting to me.
    I totally agree with you about supporting SF and its philosophy…and you’re so lucky to have met Carlo Petrini!

    Happy Sunday from sunny Italy,


  3. Eleanor Snyder says

    Dear Elaine

    This edition of your blog has really touched me. I have your cookbooks, read each of your articles but today you have really hit the core. I have been a Slow Food member for many years and this was a good reminder to renew my membership. Have you ever heard Greg Brown’s song “Slow Food”? I believe you would resonate with its feeling.

  4. Nancy says

    Grazi mille Elana! You have introduced me to yet another life changing moment.
    I’m gettin on board will this….let us move ahead!

  5. maggie says

    After 24 years, believe it or not, of a rash on my hand that I continually was told was contact dermatitis… when I gave up wheat a year ago it vanished! I also learned about non-secretor vs secretor status which is a known main-stream condition across all blood types. Fifteen to twenty percent of all people, literally millions, are non-secretors… which among other characteristics are known to not process carbohydrates properly making them prone to type I and II diabetes and heart disease. I did the required saliva test to be diagnosed, but I knew when reading the full list of characteristics that I was a non-secretor even before doing the test. When I tried a 30-day vegan challenge my triglycerides went from 125 to over 200. It did nothing for my high cholesterol or weight even though I ate a high percentage of vegetables and was very careful about portion size.

  6. Christine says

    I started eating gluten free/dairy free three weeks ago. I was diagnosed with lupus 22 years ago, and irritable bowel syndrome 10 years ago. I can honestly say that no medicine has helped my joints more or helped my belly more than this dietary change. No doctor or medical personnel suggested this change, and at first I wasn’t sure i could make this major change in my lifestyle. The Internet, your website in particular, gave me the only support I received. Without your recipes, I don’t think I could have gotten past the first week. I thank you for being such a big part of my decreased pain, decreased inflammation, increased energy and reconnection with the Earth and my family.

  7. linda says

    I love this blog and have been following for a long time. I began because of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in our family. I’ve stayed because it is a beautiful place to be. I am now completely shocked that our 16 year old daughter has just been diagnosed w/crohn’s disease. I’m gathering info for safe recipes, again, and I am wondering if the recipes on this website are considered legal for Specific Carbohydrate Diet? Thank you!

    • Bailee says

      Hi Linda,

      We have our little boy on the SCD diet. A lot of these recipes are okay for the diet, but always check the Legal/Illegal list. You can find it here:

      I have found that the SCD diet is very restrictive, and is really hard for me to stay on. It is worth it though for the health of my little boy. I use all of the recipes on this site, but sometimes I have to leave an ingredient out or replace it with something that is okay for the SCD diet. Arrowroot Powder is on the illegal list, and there are a few others. But Elana’s recipes have been my favorite so far, and they make the SCD diet a lot easier for our family. I hope everything goes well for you!

      • Nancy says

        Yes…I also use every recipe of Elanas for SCD….makes life happy.
        I do change /leave out the illegal stuff. All the recipes work with honey.
        Check out the Monster cookie recipe in Elaine’s Breaking the Vicious Cycle book….WOW!
        Her recipes are great just like Elana’s they are easy, so delicious and versatile.

        • linda says

          Do you have any tricks for organizing? You talk about easy, it feels so overwhelming right now in the beginning.

      • linda says

        Thanks Bailee,I appreciate your help. I was hoping the ingredients were mostly legal. I know the restrictions are SO limiting. I need to reorganize everything – my kitchen, my priorities, my life! It’s the silver lining of having a diagnosis, that it might be manageable with food as medicine. I’m hoping so!


  8. says

    It is my hope that the Slow Food Movement will become the foundation of the Slow Life Movement. There is a simple life movement that is part of this, but if we start with food, what we all do and need, we can create a shift that begins a more balanced way of life.

  9. MamaCassi says

    as i sit out on my lawn while my 5 young kids run around after our breakfast of raw milk, soured rice pancakes, and drink hibiscus tea brewed in the sun, a neighbor’s van drives past for the 3rd, 4th, 5th time. and all i can do is say ‘come on over sometime’- my house isn’t perfect, our food isn’t fancy, and we can be quite chaotic. but the pace of my life is what makes it bearable. slow food, slow focused living, it’s counter-cultural at a very deep level. it’s a pace for living, for growing, for healing and for resting. perfect for us right now!!! and probably for the long haul as my health is NOT something that comes easily, and i am treasuring it every day.

  10. says

    I love what you said…food is not is about passion!
    There are too many prescriptions for what to eat!!
    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! I refer many of my clients to your site and books!

  11. says

    Food is truly medicine for mind, body and soul. There are so many benefits to Slow Food: mindful preparation; gratitude for having the food; enjoying sharing preparing and eating food; health benefits of whole foods; and the list goes on. I enjoy your blog knowing it’s about a healthy lifestyle that incorporates healthy, wholesome foods.

  12. says

    I *love* this post … and the Slow Food movement, which I’ve also been a fan of for many years. It’s not just a way of eating … it’s a way of living. I can’t even imagine what an incredible lunch that must have been!

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