"Josh Viertel, Slow Food USA's new president, set the tone. He announced that the organization would from now forward pursue two main priorities: youth organizing and social justice. "Our food system disproportionately hurts poor people and people of color, and alternatives aren't accessible to those groups," he said.
He said that in the past, the group had focused its rhetoric on values: commitment to "good, clean, and fair food," for example. From now on, it would emphasize rights. "Access to good, clean, and fair food is not a privilege," he declared. "It's a right, and we have to make that clear." That message, he insisted, was the most important one that delegates could bring back to their communities.
He also vowed that Slow Food USA would work to avoid doing something it has been accused of doing in the past: suck the air out the sustainable-food movement by hoarding resources and media attention at the expense of social-justice activists.
Erika Allen wrapped up with a challenge: "How are you fighting racism in your food community?"" (Thanks Rania)
I believe this is excellent rhetoric. Now Slow Food has to take clear political positions against racism. And where better to start than Israel and its apartheid politics? But Slow Food is silent about the plight of Palestinians, food producers or not.
Full disclosure: I am a member of the Slow Food movement and a founder of Slow Food Beirut.