Slow Food Movement Is Rapidly Gaining Members in Athens, Ga.

Slow Food Greater Athens invites everyone to a meet-and-greet event on Saturday at Farm 255 in downtown Athens.

Slow Food of Greater Athens is anything but.

The members of this local group do cooking demonstrations at the Athens Farmers Market. They spread the word about organizations such as Wholesome Wave, which helps provide fresh food to those receiving food stamps. They assist with Brunch in the Field, a food-related event that raises money for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.

They talk about the problems of GMO's in the food we eat, and oppose mega-business Monsanto. They support Food 2 Kids. They help with school gardens and those for homeless people. And they own the rights to the movie "Grow," which Chef Lamar Thomas shows at area schools.

Saturday, at the Farmers Market, they are helping to promote the annual Autumn Harvest Feast. And many members are planning to attend.

Oh, and they eat together also. Slowly. President Randall Abney says they have eight dinners at area restaurants throughout the year. They contact the chef, who makes them a special meal, which they consume, family style, talking and eating for two or more hours. This year, they've eaten at the Branded Butcher, Farm 255 and at Harry's Pig Shop, as well as at Piccolo's in Watkinsville.

On Saturday afternoon, from 1 to 4, you have a chance to meet the members of this happy, committed, growing group. They're going to be at Farm 255, welcoming anyone who wants to join. The $10 admission fee gets you into the restaurant, where you will enjoy all the food you care to eat, plus $1 beer. And there's a raffle for a lot of cool stuff. Plus, you'll get to hear some music.

How's that for a Saturday afternoon, well spent?

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