written by Malou Morgan of Meraki Media Management

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 #SlowSeven Challenge. This year’s challenge saw double the number of participants, four times as many restaurants and partners and over 250 Slow Seven submissions!

Slow Food® Barbados challenged Barbadians to eat only foods grown, caught, or raised in Barbados for 7 days to raise awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental and cultural benefits of eating locally sourced foods.

Whether participants wanted to try one locally sourced meal or take on the challenge of eating 100% Bajan for the week, everyone was invited to be a part of the fun. There were lots of amazing prizes from our partners, such as dinners at some of Barbados’ top restaurants and generous gift certificates. We designed various categories, such as “Best Vegetarian Meal”, “Best Sustainable Seafood Meal” and “Best photo with your Farmer/Grower/Producer” to encourage as much engagement as possible, both on and offline.

Our participants loved learning about locally sourced, produced and caught food, as well as the people who make every plate of food possible.

“The slow food challenge was very exciting for me. I was already growing some vegetables from my garden so I just needed to be sure that the rest of my supplies were local! Cheapside Market, Butcher Boulevard, fish markets and local markets were the best places for me to find local treasures!!
It changed my eating, or should I say my buying habits a little as I had to go different places to find special ingredients. It’s a pity that we don’t have in Barbados more local supermarkets and most of the things are imported.

Since then I really try to buy local as much as I can, Barbados is an amazing place with amazing products! I had more cooking ideas and tried to be more creative and have more fun in my kitchen. Eat local, eat healthy, eat slow food!!!”

~ Rosalie Chiara

“In our home we love to cook and we love using fresh, local ingredients as often as possible. That said, trying to go the “Slowest” version of the Slow Seven Challenge really gave us that extra push we needed to try new ingredients and experiment with old recipes in fresh ways. We loved taking part in the inaugural challenge and look forward to future editions!”

~ Esther Lussan

“I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the creators of this event, it was an enjoyable and effective way to understand how much we import and also to understand and communicate the importance our food heritage in Barbados. Moreover I realized that the focus on local eating actually gave me better food options, not only did the local products have a longer shelf life but it was heavier food and kept me feeling full for longer.”

~ Lenora Williams

One of the highlights of the Challenge was the release of our updated Buyer’s Guide, which lists local farmers, producers, fisherfolk, suppliers, restaurants, and chefs who abide by our principals of Good, Clean and Fair food.

While the #SlowSeven Challenge is only one week long, our aim is to highlight the ways in which people can support local everyday year-round and make more sustainable choices. We want to bring local products, producers and options to the forefront so that it’s even easier for everyone living in Barbados to choose local products. Building this community of slow foodies creates more demand for local food in Barbados, and in turn, lowers our multi-million dollar food import bill. #SlowSeven is more than just a fun, social challenge, it’s a movement to regenerating our local food system and bolster local prosperity.

In 2018, we hope to take the challenge a step (or two) further and to deepen the impact that this challenge can have on our island. We believe in the fundamental right to the basic pleasures of quality local food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make such pleasure possible.

Submissions for the 2017 #SlowSeven Challenge