Slow Foodie Profiles

Kicking off a new ongoing feature on the blog, Charlie Headington and Laurie O’Neill have filled out our new slow foodie questionnaire. We’d love to hear more about you, too – email me (ThoughtForFood@bellsouth.net) if you would like to share your experiences!

Name: Charlie Headington

Day Job: Teach about Sustainability Issues at UNCG and tend an Edible Schoolyard at Greensboro Montessori School

Your interests: good food, sustainable and simple living, gardening, learning Italian, playing chess.

How did you get involved in the Slow Food Piedmont Triad convivium? I’ve long been an organic gardener and teacher of gardening and sustainability, and thus concerned with the culture and availability of good food. My wife and I attended Terra Madre, a 2004 gathering of 5000 world-wide small farmers and producers, and we joined with Steve Tate of Goat Lady Dairy and others to form a Slow Food convivium in the Piedmont. I’ve enjoyed working with other committed volunteers from all walks of life.

What does Slow Food mean to you and how does it impact your daily life? Slow Food means a thriving local culture of fresh, tasty food, sustainable farms and markets, and a city swarming with family-run eateries. It also means eating mindfully, with the earth, land, and our bodies in mind.

Describe a Slow Food meal you’ve recently prepared or eaten: My wife and I belong to an Italian conversation group that occasionally gets together to eat. In January we brought together four courses of largely seasonal and locally available food. We made squash ravioli: fresh pasta filled with a butternut squash concoction that my daughter made. The meat dish featured local pork. The candlelight meal lasted for four hours and we spoke Italian throughout it!

Name: Laurie O’Neill

Day Job: Secretary at a local university

Your interests: Organic gardening, voluntary simplicity, fiber arts

How did you get involved in the Slow Food Piedmont Triad convivium?
I was in Charlie Headington’s “Simple Living in a Complex World” class at UNCG and he mentioned that a local convivium would be formed soon. Because food is so much a part of my simple living philosophy, I was excited at the opportunity to help organize it and meet others with similar interests.

What does Slow Food mean to you and how does it impact your daily life?
As a cook and an eater, I enjoy the freshness and the challenge of eating locally and seasonally. As a gardener, I am interested in healthy food and heirloom varieties of vegetables. As a small farmer’s daughter and sister, I am concerned that my heritage and culture are fast disappearing. As a citizen, I am frightened at the rate that industry has taken control over our entire food system. As a member of Slow Food, I hope to make a difference in supporting small farmers and promoting the benefits of local food.

Describe a Slow Food meal you’ve recently prepared or eaten:
The other night, we had a simple organic meal of field peas, corn on the cob, and baked sweet potatoes. I grew the field peas in my garden and froze them. I bought the corn at Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market this summer and froze it. The sweet potatoes were from the same market and I served them and the corn with a small amount of organic butter that I bought at Deep Roots Market. It was a very easy, quickly prepared meal. Learning to preserve and store foods for year-round enjoyment was one of the most valuable skills that I learned growing up on a small farm.

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