Jane Bauer (pictured above at Slide Ridge Honey in the Cache Valley) is a leader with Slow Food Utah (SlowFoodUtah.org). She spoke at a recent Tower Theatre screening of No Impact Man. Slow Food Utah will participate in the Sugar House Summit on Saturday, Oct. 10, at Westminster College Gore School of Business, Room 228, from 9 a.m. to noon,a gathering that will look at gardening and locating a farmers market in Sugar House.
No Impact Man is the story about a Manhattan family that abandons its high-consumption lifestyle and tries to live a “carbon-free” year. What stood out for you with the film?
That a family living in a major metropolitan area, in New York City, could actually accomplish what they accomplished; that they were able to eat locally and recycle. If they can accomplish it, then people throughout the United States can do it. I was really impressed with the [composting] worms.
Early Utah settlers lived off the land because they had to. Do you think modern-day Salt Lakers could find year-round, locally grown food like the family in the movie did?
I do. This weekend, I was up in Logan with two other Slow Food people, and we found a mill up there that milled local flour. We’ve got people who are growing greens all year round. We’ve got fruits, vegetables … nuts. A lot of us can food. If people are not into canning, they can freeze their produce. All my meat comes from ranchers here.
Why is a movement like Slow Food Utah needed? Isn’t it common sense to eat wholesome food that’s well-prepared?
Fast food is cheap. You can get a lot of calories for very little money. If you’re looking at a McDonald’s Value Meal, you can get 1,200 to 2,000 calories for $3. The government subsidizes corn and beef production so much that you can buy cheap calories, but they’re not always good calories.
When I used to interview nannies, I’d ask if they knew how to cook, and they’d say, “Yes,” and then they would pop things into the microwave and that would be it. So, many families don’t know how to cook.
Have you met any local folks who have quit buying toilet paper and coffee like the family in No Impact Man?
I’ve met people who are somewhat like them but not as fanatical. I wouldn’t ask a friend if they use toilet paper. I know people who are a lot more earthy than I am, but they do like their coffee.