The slow food movement, a progression of the organic local food popularity, is just as its name suggests: It is the polar opposite of fast food.

The slow food movement, a progression of the organic local food popularity, is just as its name suggests: It is the polar opposite of fast food.

“We want people to slow down,” said Rosemary Melli, a Westport resident and governor of the Slow Food New England region, “not grab food like they do fuel from a gas station. They should enjoy it with friends and know where it comes from.”

The movement is about three words — good, clean and fair, said Melli, who with her husband, Tony, runs Olio di Melli, a business that imports olive oil and balsamic vinegars from Italy.

“The food must be delicious, produced without harming the environment, and the producer must be paid fairly.”

Slow Food Boston and Slow Food Rhode Island are hosting a fundraising event at The Meeting House in Tiverton on Sunday with locally grown produce, fish and meat.

Proceeds will allow a few area farmers to attend Slow Food’s “Terre Madre,” a biannual convention in Italy of sustainable food producers across the world.

Tickets are $45, or $25 for children age 12 to 18. Children under 12 are free. For tickets, visit www.slowfoodboston.com or write to Slow Food Boston, c/o Connie Pollard, 135 Aspinwall Ave., Brookline, MA, 02446.

The sister nonprofit educational organizations are luring guests with a menu of roasted pig, striped bass, grilled seafood, bruschetta and pasta with seasonal pestos. Dessert is strawberry shortcake, and there will be wine and beer from local wineries and breweries.

Producers participating include Eva’s Garden and Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth, and Shy Brothers Farm and caterer Smoke & Pickles in Westport. All food will be donated and all will be in season and from New England.

“It’s a great movement regarding a style of eating that’s been sort of lost,” said Silverbrook Farm’s Andy Pollack. “Many people still don’t realize how important it is to eat locally,” he added, mentioning fuel prices and the rising food costs that have gone along with it. “People just think in terms of convenience.”

There are more than 170 Slow Food chapters in the United States.

“We consider ourselves co-producers, not consumers,” the organization says, “because by being informed about how our food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in the production process.”

“The beauty of slow food is that it provides a welcome home for the food lover, the health seeker and the environmentalist.” Slow Food’s symbol is a snail, because, as the organization says, a snail “calmly eats its way through life.”

The slow food movement goes beyond organic produce, the organization says.

Organic agriculture, when done on a large scale, is “very similar” to conventional farming, Slow Food says, so an organic certification alone doesn’t necessarily mean a crop is grown sustainably. Slow Food similarly opposes genetically engineered crops, saying they can threaten natural biodiversity.

The movement actually began 22 years ago, when 62 founding members met in Italy to create an organization that would eventually become Slow Food. In the early ‘90s, branches opened in Germany and Switzerland, and the first United States office opened in New York City in 2000.

The organization is also moving into the political arena, Melli said, supporting farm bills, school education programs, and programs that promote sustainability and biodiversity. “We need to tell kids where food really comes from,” she said. “It doesn’t just come packaged in a grocery store.”

Herald News