Slow Food for Less Money

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is it really possible that families in America can no longer cook their own meals for under $10? That is what fast food companies like KFC would have you believe, but Josh Viertel, the new president of Slow Food USA, is out to prove them wrong. He and Ruth Reichl, editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, explain how healthy meals can also be affordable.

Read a Q&A with Josh Viertel from Gourmet magazine here.


Ruth Reichl and Josh Viertel,

Comments [19]

Cynthia Lair from Seattle

Very exciting to hear this talk. I teach at Bastyr University and host an online cooking show : Cookus Interruptus. In both cases we are working to teach people who to cook good food that is affordable. This fall we will be starting a new BS in Nutrition and Culinary Skills program at Bastyr. All good.

Jun. 24 2009 10:20 PM
Marcello from NYC

Uggh, they have problems with coke/pepsi at Yale, but ok with Snapple(coke company) with being the major sponsor for foodie events. love the show but when it come to food there a smugness about Ruth. Lets face it the food they talk about is geared toward rich white women

Jun. 17 2009 05:52 PM
Kurt from Iowa City

To read the article Josh referred to on the KFC Family Meal Deal Challenge, for and for Slow Food USA's Snail magazine go to:

Kurt Friese
Slow Food USA Board of Directors

Jun. 17 2009 10:17 AM

#15, If cityfolks are already happily eating sprayed food care of corporate farms, why not also eat grass and weeds...the best greens are grass and weeds.

Jun. 16 2009 01:26 PM
Jane from Brooklyn

So it takes an apartment floor to make a (cooking) village.

Jun. 16 2009 01:21 PM

thank you!!! thank you for talking about human rights, responsible decision making, and awareness that our lives are carried on the back of MANY people un-represented! As someone who works to free children from slavery (at times enslaved to pick fruits & veggies imported into the US), I am often stunted by how often WE refuse knowledge of truth.

Jun. 16 2009 01:21 PM
jean from manhattan

yoou're not going to recommend that cityfolks eat sidewalk weeds! There are tons of car exhaust and lead in the soil--poison!

Jun. 16 2009 01:17 PM

YOU CAN EAT FOR UNDER $10....Shop in Chinatown for greens and fish!! cost is low because (if you havent noticed) everything look as they should...without the expensive cosmetics that WHOLEFOOD or expensive chain markets show.

Jun. 16 2009 01:15 PM
Sandra from Astoria, Queens

Shana, classes are just what I was thinking:

I love Alice Waters' school garden and lunch program. Why don't we have mandatory home economics class in ALL schools? A real class, where kids learn how to shop for and prepare fresh, nutritious foods. Also, build physical education class into EVERY day. We need to start learning healthy habits early.

(personal finance should also be taught in the home ec class too)

Jun. 16 2009 01:15 PM
nina from new york

RE: Tomatoes from Florida--Most tomatoes from Florida taste bad because they're picked green and then "gassed" to ripen on the way north. The discussion has also centered on migrant laborers who pick the tomatoes, who are paid starvation wages or even enslaved.

I believe an exception to both these rules is SUNRIPE tomatoes. I've found they're always delicious and ripe-tasting--maybe they're picked that way? SUNRIPE also sponsors an ongoing scholarship for children of migrant laborers who want to become teachers, so maybe they're paying their labor fairly.

Jun. 16 2009 01:13 PM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

One other problem with fruits and vegetables picked green and trucked around the country is that they have much reduced nutritional value. Whole Foods is not the only game in town -- produce is trucked in there as well. Buying locally is much the better way to go. If you buy carefully it's not much more expensive and it's much much better both in taste and nutrition.

Jun. 16 2009 01:12 PM
Angela from Brooklyn

Regarding those January store bought tomatoes, since they really aren't tomatoes at all, I think they should be required to call them by another name - I suggest "fauxmatoes."

Jun. 16 2009 01:10 PM
Karla from Inwood, Manhattan

If you want to know why the USA has the agriculture system is does, read Michael Pollan.

He write about how Earl Butz (from U. of Chicago and a big smartypants) was appointed head of the Dept. of Agriculture by Nixon in the 70s to completely rewrite ag policy so Americans would have cheaper food. (Cheaper food meaning greater political stability). Thus, if farmers wanted to stay in business, they had to become more and more efficient and the result is the huge monoculture farming we have now.

When I was a kid, my grandfather (farmer in NE Missouri) still raised hogs as well as cattle, soybeans, corn, milo and still kept a milk cow. He got rid of the hogs in the 70s and farmed fewer and fewer things (in greater quantities) over the years.

My uncle and now my cousin have become bigger and bigger and more and more efficient (fewer people working per acre) and more and more reliant on petroleum and pesticides and herbicides.

Now my cousin farms over 2,000 acres and raises Black Angus cattle, corn and soybeans.

Will he change the way he farms? No, not until it makes financial sense for him to do it.

So if we want better food, and healthy habitat and species not deformed by exposure to herbicide and pesticide runoff, we MUST change both farm and energy policy.

Jun. 16 2009 01:05 PM
Shana from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Sandra and anonyme, that is the point that I was trying to make. If someone can go to that overpriced grocery (and I refuse to wait in line for 30 min for that) and make a meal for less than $10, KFC is full of bull and misleading families that are trying to save money. In the ad, the mother takes the kids to the grocery store and says that if it cost more than $10 to get the ingredients to make fried chicken they are going to KFC! My family spends about $100-150 a week for food, depending what we plan on making, and that is enough to ensure we have three meals a day with snacks.

I think that it would be great that along with the current acceptance of food stamps at farmer's markets and plans to accept them at some green carts and Costco, they should have classes to help families learn more affordable ways to feed their families with healthy non-time consuming meals.

Jun. 16 2009 01:04 PM

In Europe some Super Markets are subsidized

Jun. 16 2009 12:55 PM
paul from nyc

how does slow food fit in with women's liberation?

Jun. 16 2009 12:55 PM
Sandra from Astoria, Queens

Anonyme, I noticed that about Whole Foods too. A lot of their produce is labeled "conventional," and it's overpriced. I never buy my produce there.

Jun. 16 2009 12:47 PM

Whole Foods is such BS (except for 365 brand) as far as fresh food is concerned. Almost all of it is from California and about 80% is not organic. We don't know about traditional eating - most cultures use EVERYTHING - so many things we think are gross are full of vital nutrients. You can boil bones twice to get gelatin broth twice - that's a superfood! Most traditional cuisines are not meat and potatoes cuisines!

Jun. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Shana from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

I remembered being a bit taken aback with that KFC ad challenging a family to make a dinner for less than $10. Where exactly is that not possible? The season before on Top Chef that was a challenge. And they make them shop at Whole Foods!

Jun. 16 2009 09:18 AM

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