The #SlowSeven local food challenge was started by Slow Food Barbados in 2016, to encourage people to eat local for one week. That means, only using ingredients that are grown, caught, raised and produced right here in Barbados. Participants are invited to sign up for the challenge and to share images and videos of their meals and experiences. By signing up and participating, you’ve entered to win some amazing prizes from various partners in Barbados.
This challenge aims to promote sustainable communities, healthy bodies and support local farmers and fisherfolk increasing our emphasis on locally sourced food and the benefits to our local economy, environment, and community.
If one week of only local food and drink seems too daunting, not to worry. It’s not an all- or-nothing challenge. The challenge is structured to encourage everyone; from beginners to the very committed and experienced! The point is to experiment and increase awareness about the availability of locally produced foods and where to find them.
Slow Food Barbados provides plenty of guidance, including a Local Buyer’s Guide (Which includes local products ranging from meats to cheeses to wines), our Sustainable Seafood Guide, recipes, markets and a list of local restaurants that are offering menu items that fit the Eat Local criteria.
Since 2016, the SlowSeven Challenge has continued to double each year, with over 400 Slow Foodies, and over 25 restaurants participating in 2018. We aim to double participation again in 2019!
By participating in the #SlowSeven challenge, participants are:
- Regenerating our local food systems and supporting the local economy
- Creating more demand for local food in Barbados, and in turn lowering our multi-million dollar food import bill;
- Learning about locally sourced, produced and caught food, as well as the people who make every plate of food possible;
- Sharing and connecting with a community of foodies in Barbados!
- Increasing our Islands’ food security and sovereignty
- Winning amazing prizes and having fun along the way!
The #SlowSeven hashtag is unique to our challenge and has been used thousands of times across Instagram and Facebook. It really is a social challenge; you meet so many interesting people who are participating in the challenge, while also learning a lot, winning cool prizes and feeling inspired by everyone’s photos and videos!
We encourage participants to experiment and increase awareness about the availability of locally produced foods and where to find them. We often associate certain foods and dishes with being local but we encourage participants to read labels to ensure that:
Ingredients are in fact locally grown and caught in Barbados.
For example, did you know that we import over 85% of the fish we eat in Barbados? That’s right! Much of the fish you see in the local market is actually imported. There are sustainable alternatives such as lionfish which is caught locally, which you can read more about on our Sustainable Seafood Guide.
Products are produced in Barbados using local ingredients. Items which are manufactured in Barbados, but made up of imported ingredients, do not qualify.
For example, did you know that we import all of the white (wheat) flour that you find on the supermarket shelves? There are delicious, local alternatives such as breadfruit and cassava flour which you can find in our Local Buyer’s Guide.
There are 3 categories for each meal/dish or recipe shared. However, you do not need to commit to one category for the entire week, you can swap around and try them all at various points! We will be judging per item/dish/recipe shared, so have fun with it. We also have an extensive list of participating restaurants, bars, and hotels who will be featuring SlowSeven specials during the challenge, so you’re not restricted to cooking at home and creating your own meals throughout the week.
Level 1 – Slow
Slow is committing to at least 25% of your meal or recipe being local ingredients.
This is for the newbies, who are unfamiliar with local products and want to break into the challenge slowly. If you would like to give it a try, commit to doing your best and have fun in the process!
MENU: Try at least 3 local meals during the challenge, swapping 3 imported ingredients for local alternatives when cooking or enjoying a meal out.
- Flour: Swapping imported flour for local alternatives such as cassava, breadfruit, and sweet potato.
- Swapping pasta for sweet potato as a side dish.
- Local Fruit: Swapping strawberries and kiwi for soursop and Bajan cherries
- Meet a local vendor/farmer/fisherfolk
- Swapping imported fish such as salmon for a local, sustainable alternative fish such as lionfish
Level 2 – Slower
Slower participants will go 75% local for each dish or recipe shared. The remaining 25% can be items not found or produced in Barbados.
MENU: We understand that it could be difficult to give up or swap out certain basics that you use on a daily basis, so that’s why we’ve allowed for a certain leniency. However, we encourage you to be adventurous and creative wherever possible, and suggest that you try swapping out certain basics for local alternatives that you may not have considered before!
- Coffee and chocolate: though there is locally roasted coffee and chocolate available, coffee and cocoa beans are not grown in Barbados. We encourage you to try a locally roasted coffee brand and regional chocolate brands.
- Wines: there are a number of sweet, local wines available and we encourage you to try them!
- Imported cheeses: There is cheese available locally, and we encourage you to try this in place of imported cheeses.
Level 3 – Slowest
Slowest is restricted to only consuming or using products that can be grown, caught, made or raised in Barbados.
This category requires the most amount of creativity and attention to detail, such as checking ingredients in a dish to see where they come from and also speaking to your local farmers, vendors, and fisherfolk to really understand whether something is 100% local or imported. Often, it also requires making more of your own alternatives, such as sea salt and certain condiments. We try to help you with this as much as possible with our Local Buyer’s Guide.
Menu: with the wide variety of fruit, vegetables, seafood, meats and other locally produced items, this level is surprisingly easy. Using our local Buyer’s Guide and visiting local markets you will be surprised at how many delicious foods are available.
- Butter: substitute imported butter with local coconut oil
- Try foraging for a local delicacy such as sea purslane
- Local bush tea
- Substitute imported pasta for local zucchini ‘zoodles’ or even try making breadfruit pasta!
Remember: Slow Food Barbados will be judging per photo or video of item/dish/recipe shared, so have fun with it!
- Sign up using our online form
- Share photos and videos of your food and Slow Seven experience on Facebook and Instagram between September 1st – 8th, 2019.
- Make sure that your profile is public on Instagram and that your photo or video is set to “Public” on Facebook or else we will not see your photos!
- Tag or mention @SlowFoodBarbados and use #SlowSeven on all of your posts on Facebook and Instagram so that we can keep track of your posts. This applies to both posts on your profile and in Instagram or Facebook stories.
- We will be judging based on the photos and videos received, as well as the story, creativity, and details that go along with it, so make sure to give it your best shot!
- Please list the ingredients of your dish/recipe where possible or include the name and location of where you are taking the photo.
- Slow Food Barbados have a list of categories, so if you are interested in winning prizes, make sure that your photo fits within one of the categories outlined above.