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Food and the Internet

Proceedings of the 20 th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Department of Folklore and Ethnology, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Łodź, Poland, 3–6 September 2014

Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska and Patricia Lysaght

Discourses about food, especially on social media, affect the dietary choices of many people on a daily basis all over the world. In recognition of this phenomenon, the selection of 25 ethnological essays in this volume explores the effects of the digital age on post-modern food culture. It examines the influence of the Internet as a provider of a seemingly limitless flow of information and discourse about food sources, production, distribution and consumption. It also analyses the attitudes towards food in the context of ecological, environmental, ethical, health, and everyday lifestyle issues – at local, regional and global levels.
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Slow Food: Scotland: Una A. Robertson


Una A. Robertson

Slow Food: Scotland

The speed at which the Internet transmits information is a phenomenon of modern times. One such example concerns the movement called “Slow Food” which originated in Italy in 1989 as a reaction to the tidal wave of “Fast Food”1 engulfing the globe. Using the Internet as the principal tool for research, the movement proved to be an ideal subject for this presentation.

“Slow Food is a global, grass roots organisation with supporters in over 160 countries round the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment” (, retrieved 29.12.2013).2 It came about as a reaction to a McDonalds outlet opening in the centre of Rome, perceived as yet another threat to the ever-increasing standardisation of the world’s food. Three years later Carlo Petrini and a group of like-minded people formed Slow Food with the aim of defending regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slower pace of life. The movement has since grown to number hundreds of thousands of members in a truly international organisation – its rapid growth assisted by the Internet and the ease of communication.

Slow Food has evolved “to develop a comprehensive approach to food that recognises the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics and culture” (, retrieved 31.5.2014). Today, the movement maintains its opposition to the homogenisation of taste and culture, together with the unrestrained power of the food industry...

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