How Smart Phones Could Help us Become a Slow Food Nation
This is HUGE. It can change how we travel, engage and eat. Granted, everyone does not have a smart phone, but many do, and it means that the highway ramp does not hold the power it once did. We can go downtown with the knowledge and confidence and support main street. Not only that, it is more experiential. My sister and I were ready for lunch when we were driving past Syracuse, NY, a large but rundown upstate city ,that is bisected by huge highways. With my Motorola Droid and the useful Yelp app I was able find a small Greek diner downtown. I clicked to get directions which brought up google maps and I put it in navigation mode and had voice directions to the diner.
Very simple. We drove past the whole city, gorgeous, but neglected stately homes and empty Gothic cathedrals greeted us as we drove through. When we finally made it to downtown Syracuse we had a feeling of place, we felt like we were visiting, not just driving through. Granted the drive took us 15 minutes, but it was well worth it and there was no chance of getting lost because of Google map technology.
This brings me back to the point of sustainability and how instrumental new technologies will be in connecting farms and small business to consumers. Will we see more farmsteads offering grass-fed burgers from their farms? Or simply prepared dishes from their produce? Hopefully, and smart phone technology and applications that connect travelers, tourists and community members could be key. There is a unique opportunity to create sustainable communities online and off that can benefit us all. It is just up to us to connect the farm to the car.
I was on Cathy Erway’s radio program last week where she and Austin food blogger Addie Broyles were talking about South by Southwest. They spoke about how important food was becoming to the festival, and how technology and the food movement are developing together. I am curious to hear what ideas come out of the festival this year. Hopefully smart phones will be part of our slow food and slow money strategies because it would make my father dream ‘s of a grass-fed burger stand viable.
1. We are at a crossroads. A paradigm shift is happening, people are seeking a greater connection to community and food.
2. There is a unique window for us to poke holes through corporate messaging with blogs, yelp and other user generated platforms.
3. Many farmers, like my father, would love to find sustainable economic vehicles that can get our products to you.
4. Smart phones and application technologies could be a powerful tool of connection and empowerment.