Book Review: Reading Menu

Woody Tasch

Reading Menu

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered

by Woody Tasch
Chelsea Green Publishing, 224 pp., $21.95

Cooking Tent: Sunday, Nov. 1, 3:30pm

Many of us are familiar with Slow Food, the movement that exhorts followers to buy locally grown and sustainably produced products; to savor real, honestly prepared foods; and to place greater value on the art of dining. Now there's a movement called Slow Money, which like Slow Food urges investors to connect their money to real communities and sustainable business practices that respect the environment, soil fertility, and small-scale food production in order to realize only modest returns on endeavors that benefit society at large.

The Slow Money movement is the brainchild of veteran venture capitalist and entrepreneur Woody Tasch, who argues in Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money that money moves too fast in today's mainstream market. Conventional investment practices have unreal expectations about rate of return, and this has fostered the situation in which attaining high returns becomes the sole focus of money management. All other considerations – humane business practices, environmental viability, responsible lending, even honesty – become secondary considerations, if they are considered at all. Modern corporate capitalism erodes the relationships between producer and consumer, product and value, people and the land they inhabit.

Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money is Tasch's manifesto for a movement he hopes will attract a new type of investor and alter the path of America's misplaced financial priorities. It outlines his vision of a sustainable fiduciary practice based on three principles: quality products, small-scale business endeavors that help solve social problems, and a strategy of community-building that integrates sustainable food growing, manufacturing, and distribution. Conversational and informative, the book comprises a series of loosely linked essays on the urgency of rethinking how we invest and spend our money. Tasch peppers his ruminations with jokes, anecdotes, and even poetry with a performer's ease. On the heels of the first Slow Money National Gath­er­ing, held in September in Santa Fe, N.M., and the Texas Book Festival, Tasch will also be speaking to a group of Austin community leaders, investors, and food heroes at an invitation-only event on Nov. 3.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More slow money
Slow Money Austin Celebrates Earth Day
Slow Money Austin Celebrates Earth Day
Connecting the green dreams of slow food champions to financiers

Jessi Cape, April 19, 2013

More Food Reviews
I Am a Filipino and This Is How We Cook
I Am a Filipino and This Is How We Cook

Kahron Spearman, Oct. 26, 2018

Buttermilk Graffiti
Buttermilk Graffiti

Jessi Devenyns, Oct. 26, 2018

More by Rachel Feit
Kitchen Ghosts
Kitchen Ghosts
Unearthing Austin's culinary history: Schneider Beer Vaults

May 20, 2016

Walking the Fine-Dining Line
Walking the Fine-Dining Line
How much is too much for Austin diners?

May 6, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

slow money

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle