Brian and I don't eat out very often. Once or twice a month we'll stop by Starbucks for a fancy drink and a game of cribbage, but if we ever go out for an entire meal, it's generally either because we're out with friends—which is a bit of a special occasion for us—of because we want something special that we can't make at home. Thus, we hardly ever set food in the kind of restaurants that are usually labeled as "fast food." We might pop into one once or twice a year when we're caught short while out shopping, but that's about it.
Now, if the headlines are to be believed, we're doing ourselves a favor by skipping the burger joints. Although these places have made some improvements recently, their food still isn't all that healthy, and eating out of a paper bag in a plastic booth under glaring light isn't exactly soothing. Then, of course, there's the impact all that factory-farm meat (which is still the main ingredient in most fast-food meals) has on the environment. And finally, there's the cost, which can add up to thousands of dollars for a burger-a-day habit.
The Slow Food movement was founded in the 1980s to counter all these problems. Its goals are to promote food that's "good, clean, and fair"—that is, healthful, tasty, environmentally friendly, and good for workers. In other words, ecofrugal.
My latest Money Crashers article delves into all aspects of the Slow Food movement. I explain how it started, what it stands for, and the benefits of eating this way. I also attempt to dispel some misconceptions about Slow Food (e.g., that it's expensive or snobbish) and explore ways to enjoy Slow Food on a tight budget.
What Is Slow Food – Join the Movement for Healthy Meals on a Budget