Walk up to the register. Gaze at the tempting dollar menu. Trigger salivation. Resist. Turn around and walk out the door.
The taste of McDonald’s salty french fries paired with their quarter pounder with cheese is (unfortunately) an American staple. The beauty of it is that you can leave the restaurant feeling full for under five dollars. It’s a college student’s dream. But that’s not all you leave with. It’s easy to forget that your fast food order is also served with a large portion of regret. First of all, their food is loaded with fat, sodium and who knows what else. It’s also just straight up gross.
Luckily, there’s a solution to this fast-food-fiasco: the Slow Food Movement. This nation-wide movement, focused on providing “good, clean, and fair food for all” and connecting a community to its local foods found a home on UW-Madison’s campus in 2007. This chapter uses Wisconsin’s rich agricultural traditions to provide local and healthy food to Madison students and its community.
Slow Food UW is an organization that encourages the community to get involved in the world of “thoughtful food.” They welcome volunteers to help in the kitchen or to participate in any of the events they help out with. They also have over 40 interns to help with the organization’s community outreach projects. UW-Madison junior, Charlie Koczela, is a cook at Slow Food UW. He described delicious examples of their meals, including sushi, French toast, and gourmet sourdough grilled cheese, all made with local ingredients. (I was drooling while thinking of these btw.) He said that his favorite meal so far was a pickled beet, grated carrot, and ginger sushi roll.
Slow Food UW is about more than just feeding people food they can feel good about. They work to educate the community about the benefits of clean and healthy eating, and stress the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Koczela explained that Slow Food is important to him because “it allows students and cooks to learn and develop valuable cooking skills [and] brings a community of students into a setting where food is central to good conversation.”
How do you try their delicious farm-to-table recipes? Every Monday night, Slow Food UW hosts a family dinner at The Crossing (1127 University Ave.), featuring the freshest ingredients from Wisconsin farms. These mouth-watering meals are ONLY FIVE DOLLARS! Throw your grease-stained McDonald’s bag in the trash and never go back. Plus if you sign-up to volunteer for cleanup you get a FREE meal. Slow Food UW also serves lunch with a seasonal menu of the week every Wednesday from 11:30-2pm at The Crossing. These meals range from five to eight dollars.
I won’t be judging you if you decide to order a Big Mac, but your body will be. Instead of going through a McDonald’s drive-thru, walk over to The Crossing to try locally delicious food.
For more information, visit slowfooduw.com or find @slowfooduw on twitter.
Featured photo courtesy of Flickr user patrickkuhl