Is the bustling lifestyle in the city ruining your time for a relaxing meal? As the fast pace in the modern society has gradually distorted our life and the environment we are living in, more and more doctors and scholars are concerned and advise people to slow down and enjoy their life.

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Eating slowly is the secret to longevity

The Mediterranean people eat a slow meal which can extend to 3, even 4 hours. Slow diet is believed to contribute to their longevity. In fact, according to medical studies, there are anti-aging elements in human saliva and eating slowly encourages more saliva secretion. As you can see, eating slowly is good for your health. Here are some of the other advantages.

Repeated chewing helps grind the food properly. It also encourages secretion of gastric juice to activate healthy digestion.

Careful chewing increases saliva secretion, which forms a protective membrane in the stomach to prevent stomach ulcer. When you eat slowly, you feel full with less food. The chance of obesity thus becomes smaller.

Eating slowly can relax your body and unwind your mind, making you happy and delighted.

Slow food as a global trend

A busy life keeps us from the simple enjoyment of a good meal. The colorful food packages in the supermarket mask the fact of excessive additives in the content. In addition to these problems, people are so used to fast food that they pay less attention to the environmental impacts of food during its manufacturing and transpor tation. As a response to this phenomenon, the Slow Food Movement was initiated and now it is gradually becoming a global trend. While encouraging people to eat slowly and pay more attention to their health and lifestyle, the movement also urges people to think about the connection between food and environmental protection. So far the Slow Food International, an association promoting slow dieting habits, has attracted about 100,000 members in 150 countries worldwide.。

The rise of ecofriendly restaurants

For Alice Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant and one of the founders of the Slow Food Festival, slow food means the food that is fresh, ecofriendly and delicious without too much unnecessary processing. The Slow Food Movement advocates for the consumption of the food that is locally produced or grown instead of being transported from far away destinations. Moreover, the movement is also concerned about where and how the food is produced as well as how the farmers are rewarded.

In recent years, ecofriendly restaurants have become more and more popular. These restaurants prioritize local food purchases to reduce food miles and treat their guests with inseason food. Bio @ PEACE Cafe, an ecofriendly restaurant located in a quiet hilly region near New Taipei City, echoes the concept of Slow Food Movement in many ways.

Eating in love, living in peace

The former owner of Bio @ PEACE Café is an Australian Pilates coach. He had to transfer the restaurant to a new owner due to some family reasons. Seeing that both of Ann and her husband Walter love the earth and vegetable cuisine, he asked the couple to run the restaurant, hoping that the concept of earth caring can last forever through the organic ecofriendly cuisines made with love.

Bio @ PEACE Café uses plenty of local organic vegetables, most of which come from the organic farms run by Ann’s mother and other farmers. Ann says buying local food encourages organic farmers to apply natural and ecofriendly farming methods. It is a great way of taking care of local farmers and the earth.

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Photo /// Bio@PEACE Cafe Ann – the proprietor; Exquisite menu handmade by Ann’s friend.

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Photo /// Delicious organic vegetable cuisine

“Without using any pesticides and chemical fertilizers, the vegetable and fruit taste like heaven. You can tell the difference at the moment you put it in your mouth. Organically grown things taste very different from those grown through conventional farming,” Ann says with a hearty smile. Ann continues to say, “We didn’t get any formal education in catering. It’s a good thing because we can have unlimited imagination for cooking. We just prepare the food and make it healthy and delicious. In order to carry our ecofriendly concepts through, all of our leftover waste is composted for the use of nearby vegetable gardens.”

“Can we have a look at the gardens?” we ask.

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“Of course! But we need to take a short walk to get there. The rain in the morning has made the trail slippery⋯.”We followed Ann to the garden nearby. We saw a bamboo canopy over the compost pile, beside which is a small garden of lively greenery.

Slow Food Movement was founded by Cario Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to the rampant fast food that was originated in the United States, it promotes a lifestyle that is characterized as “slow food”. Cario Petrini further established Slow Food International, a foundation which promotes healthy cuisine and slow dieting habits. It has now expanded globally with the main concern over issues of how to benefit the humankind, food growers and the earth.

Slow Food International has been holding the Slow Food Festival in one city each year to showcase local cuisine since 1996. The Slow Food Festival is a music carnival as well as an important occasion for discussing slow food. In the festival, people have the chance eating healthy foods from the local area, listening to scholars and experts talking about slow food and watching cookery demonstrations. People can also share their knowledge about selecting good food and suppliers with other people. To create a relaxing and joyful atmosphere, activities like movies, picnicking and rock music are also arranged for the festival.

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Photo /// Slow Food Festival 2010 in Torino, Italy

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The late medical doctor Ogata Tomosaburou (1883-1973) found out that a salivary gland hormone called parotin can help retain youth. 
Bio@PEACE Café offers ecofriendly organic vegetable meals The Café is located in the suburban area in New Taipei City)

Parotin can maintain the elasticity and energy of body tissues like blood vessels and skin, hence slows down aging.