The application deadline for the Slow Food Chicago board is today! Did you apply? Still thinking about it? There's still time! Do it to it! Need more convincing? Well, we have another very inspiring member profile for you. This time, coming from Slow Food's current regional Governor in the Midwest - Eve Lacivita. Don't think you can make a difference? Eve's here to tell you otherwise. She is proof that involvement in Slow Food may start small - perhaps as a volunteer but has the potential to grow to something much bigger - from board member to beyond. Read on to learn a little more about Eve's Slow Food story.
Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago board? How did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved?
I was drawn to Slow Food by the "Good, Clean and Fair" message. I'd actually known about the Slow Food movement for a long time - I have vague memories of hearing about the protest at the Spanish Steps on the news - but didn't know it was anything more than a dinner club until meeting some Chicago board members at the Good Food Festival, which is also where I first heard the phrase "Good, Clean and Fair." That phrase resonated with me immediately - it captured so perfectly what food and the food system should be. I immediately started volunteering (to run the volunteer program, ironically), joined the board the following year, and haven't looked back.
What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago?
I'm most proud of something I achieved as regional governor, actually - getting presence for Slow Food Chicago and all the Midwest chapters at Terra Madre 2014, with a table featuring several delegate producers and a huge map of the tons of people doing good food work throughout the region. Outside of this country, there isn't much awareness of the vast diversity and quality of food production in the Midwest, and it was really great to watch people tasting all the products and their delighted surprise. You would not believe how excited people get about maple syrup!
What are you up to these days?
I'm still involved in Slow Food. I'm the Illinois Governor, and I'm also pitching in on Indiana, Missouri and Iowa. Professionally, I'm a product manager at Motorola Mobility, developing some pretty cool mobile software experiences. And I've joined a new board, Project Exploration, which brings extracurricular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education to kids in low-income communities who don't have the best access to that education in their schools.
Does Slow Food still impact your work, life, eating habits? Tell us more!
For sure. Aside from still being involved as regional Governor, it's hard not to be permanently changed once you've been part of Slow Food. Every food decision I make is colored by the knowledge I gained being a part of Slow Food. I don't make perfect decisions - far from it - but I grow food, and cook as much as I can, and buy from my local farmer's market. Above all, I'm always thinking about the impact my decisions have on Good, Clean and Fair.
Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?
"Good, Clean, Fair" represents an ideal that is very hard to achieve but very necessary to work toward. I think of the old "time, quality, money" triangle - you know, "you can have any two?" Right now, the status quo is that you can have any two of "Good, Clean and Fair." But we know that the right end game is all three - and so our work needs to be focused on how to make all three happen, as challenging as it is. It requires technical innovation, policy change and cultural change - and that's pretty exciting.
What advice would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?
Show up! Do whatever you can! Take the initiative! It's not hard to get involved. I started as a volunteer; then joined the board; then led the board (with the wonderful Megan Larmer); and am now regional Governor. Slow Food is very open to anyone who really wants to contribute. And board work isn't the only way - you can partner with us on a workshop, or lead a farm tour, host a dinner, donate money, spread the word, and above all - vote with your fork by eating food that is Good, Clean and Fair. The thing about the food movement is that everyone participates on average three times a day. So that's a whole lot of opportunity to be involved in Slow Food.
Catch up with Eve on facebook for more about how she lives "Good, Clean and Fair."