Time for a slow feast: Showcasing traditional White Earth foods“We’re having a grand dinner to celebrate some of our traditional foods, and to celebrate Slow Food, the international organization and movement,” said Winona LaDuke, founding director of White Earth Land Recovery Project.
By: Vicki Gerdes, Forum News Service
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The White Earth Land Recovery Project is encouraging people to eat more slowly.
The nonprofit organization will host a Slow Food Feast on March 9 at the Historic Holmes Theatre Ballroom in Detroit Lakes to directly benefit community-based programs.
“We’re having a grand dinner to celebrate some of our traditional foods,” said founding director Winona LaDuke, “and to celebrate Slow Food, the international organization and movement.”
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating, LaDuke explained. It is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in more than 150 countries that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
In short, Slow Food aims to be everything fast food is not.
“Ten years ago, in 2003, the White Earth Land Recovery Project won the International Slow Food Award for our work to protect wild rice from genetic engineering,” LaDuke said. “We’re going to be remembering that, and taking a look at Slow Food in 2013, 10 years later.”
The dinner, which begins at 6 p.m., will include a variety of “heritage” corn and squash — foods grown from seeds that have been preserved to grow just as they were hundreds of years ago.
“We’re talking some heritage corn varieties that are 500 years old,” LaDuke said, noting that the program that will be presented during the festivities will focus on “celebrating our heritage foods.”
There will also be live musical entertainment, though the arrangements for that portion of the festivities were still being finalized.
Tickets are $25 per person, or $40 per couple, and must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door, LaDuke said.
“Otherwise, we won’t know how much food to cook,” she added.
Besides heritage squash and corn dishes, the menu will also include fry bread drizzled with chokecherry syrup, fresh walleye culled from fisheries on the Red Lake Reservation and more.
As an International Slow Food Award winner in 2003, the White Earth Land Recovery Project wants to demonstrate its commitment to living better and eating healthier, which speaks to the core of the overall mission.
During the Slow Food event, the group will share its history and current efforts to use sustainable means of living that don’t destroy Mother Earth.
“We hope to raise some funds for our work, and also to let people know what it is we do and why we’re proud of these traditional, heritage foods,” LaDuke said.
The White Earth Land Recovery Project, founded in 1989, is a multi-issue, nonprofit, Native American organization based on the White Earth Indian Reservation.
Its approach to systemic change is honed with almost two decades of experience, and today it is one of the largest reservation-based nonprofit organizations in the U.S.
For more information about the dinner, visit www.welrp.org and RSVP as soon as possible by calling the Holmes Theater box office at 218-844-7469.