Slow Food in a Fat Society

Using historian Hillel Schwartz's utopian conception of a "fat society" as inspiration, this essay considers the potential contribution of the Slow Food movement to American notions of dietary ethics. In the United States, eating has been morally evaluated largely in terms of self-control, in relation to personal health and body image. In contrast, the dietary ethos of Slow Food is notable for its disregard of bodily aesthetics and secondary attention to nutrition. Slow Food might offer a path for redirecting moral consideration of food and eating away from the narcissistic, singular body, and toward a culinary ethic emphasizing our responsibilities to human and animal others, to cultural heritage, and to the environment.

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