In Jeffrey M Pilcher’s Slow Food article, he discusses the spread of Taco Bell restaurants, especially in Mexico. Despite catching on quickly and making their way rapid across the U.S., they have had relatively less success in the land of its inspiration- Mexico. Pilcher parallels this with the success of the Slow Food movement in Mexico. It is one of the top countries in terms of its adaptation of Slow Food, and Pilcher discusses two reasons this could be: one, that “the rich culinary history” of Mexico has established a standard for clean, natural, and unprocessed foods, and two, that the Zapista rebellion’s anti-globalization agenda led to the rise of Slow Food in Mexico. The food that people in a community choose to eat is directly influenced by the identity they want to adopt, and with the anti-globalization movement in full swing, many people in Mexico wanted to embrace their roots and support the food of their native culture, not the imported and heavily processed food served by Taco Bell and other chains brought over from the United States.
I feel that one of the main reasons that the Slow Food movement has not grown substantially bigger in the United States is that it is largely a reactionary movement. Unlike Mexico, a country with its own culture, foods, traditions, and culinary system that has been in place for centuries, the United States lacks an identity in its food. When we think of “American food”, we think of burgers and fries, pretzels, hot dogs, fried chicken, and fast-food chains. There is no reaction against the fast-food culture because it is so much a part of American culture. With no strong sense of a unique brand of cuisine or food production techniques, we have let the industrialization of food serve as our national identity. The Slow Food movement does not appeal to our sense of what is truly “American”, so why is it surprising that it has not been accepted to a greater extent?