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Alice Waters, one of the country's most influential chefs, puts the organization's ideals into practice at her acclaimed Berkeley, Calif., restaurant Chez Panisse. "Our menu changes seasonally," says Waters. "We use tomatoes only in summer and buy only from local producers committed to protecting natural resources."
Of course, Waters lives in a region where good produce is abundant year-round. Elsewhere, eating by the Slow Food credo is not quite so easy. Sacrifice may be required--no arugula in January, for example, in climates where it does not grow then. Being gastronomically aware can also cost more; quality ingredients from small producers are usually expensive. But as David Auerbach, a professor at North Carolina State University at Raleigh, points out, "If we spent less on toys that don't give us real pleasure and more on good food, we'd feel better, and eventually prices would drop."
Auerbach stresses that Slow Food is not aimed solely at gourmands and that preparing dinner healthily need not be time consuming: "In Europe they work all day too, but they somehow manage." This may be a tough sell in the U.S., where warming a TV dinner in the oven instead of the microwave constitutes leisurely dining. But Americans should know this: Sun Crest peaches taste lousy frozen.