WildChina > WildChina > Slow Food Saturday: A green approach to food in Beijing

Is China becoming a ‘Fast Food Nation’?

Just two decades ago, most people in China ate relatively low-fat meals and regularly rode their bicycles to get around. Obesity was extremely rare.

Fast forward to today: more and more people eat greasy street food or fast food such as KFC and McDonald’s and fewer have the time or energy to get some exercise. The result: China now has 19 million clinically obese citizens, with that number growing by 30 to 50 percent each year, according to a recent PBS report (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/06/reporters-notebook-obesity-rising-in-china.html).

Slow Food Saturday

A group of food-conscious individuals is hoping to promote the idea of healthier eating habits this weekend in Beijing, with Slow Food Saturday at The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu.

What is “Slow Food,” exactly? According to the Slow Food Saturday website:”Slow Food is about the heritage of food, about its tradition and culture, and about connecting with friends over delicious tastes. The Slow Food movement advocates preserving cultural cuisine, and in doing so preserving local foods, farming and ways of life. Slow Food is the antithesis to large-scale commercial food production and today’s fast-food culture. Slow Food brings back the joy in eating, and encourages us to connect over food.”

The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu, one of our preferred hotels in Beijing and a winner of our Best of China Awards 2010, has been a local pioneer in championing Slow Food for its clients and local community residents. As a sustainable tourism enterprise that offers dining, lodging, and meeting solutions in unique settings just an hour from downtown Beijing, the boutique hotel has redeployed existing buildings to new uses, created local jobs, supported other local businesses, grown their own vegetables and fruits while procuring other foods locally and made almost everything fresh and homemade on their premises.

This Saturday, September 4, in conjunction with the Slow Food Beijing Convivium, The Schoolhouse will put on a day of food, cooking, biking and more in the neighboring Great Wall International Cultural Villages of Mutianyu, Beigou, Xinying, and Tianxianyu to celebrate cooking, sustainable practices, and local communities. For a full schedule and activities, visit their website (http://www.slowfoodsaturday.org).

Event details: Slow Food Saturday

Date: Saturday, September 4th, 2010 from 10:30 am onward

Location: Mutianyu, Beigou, Xinying, and Tianxianyu Villages (Starting from The Roadhouse (restaurant at The Schoolhouse), just north of the Mutianyu roundabout)


Photo credit: Cyber Force

For more information, contact info[at]slowfoodsaturday[dot]org.

1 Response
  1. Wang

    Unfortunately, the only sustainable thing that the Schoolhouse has brought to their local community is a rising cost of living. They have basically taken over the village and surrounding communities and have forced local residents (who are mainly farmers) to find more affordable accommodation elsewhere. I support Slow Food and I am sure your overseas guests like the novelty of staying at the Schoolhouse in Mutianyu, but please don’t portray them as a bunch of do-gooders. They are in it for the money, regardless of the consequences their uncontrolled and unchecked development might have on the local community.

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