Gastronomy and Development are interlinked

| Print |

Sustainable Gastronomy Day, poster | © UNRIC

Gastronomy is now a major driver for tourists when choosing a destination. It is an intangible part of any country and its culture. On Sustainable Gastronomy Day, observed annually on 18 June, we’re reminded of the role gastronomy can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It plays a role promoting agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production and in the conservation of biodiversity.

But did you know origin labelling of your favourite food could help further boost local economies and sustainable development?

According to an FAO led study analysing the economic impact of Geographical Indication registration in case studies ranging from Darjeeling tea (India) to Manchego cheese (Spain), linkages between local producers, their local areas and their food products through geographical indications is a pathway to nutritious food systems and sustainable development for rural communities throughout the world.

The quality and specific attributes of food linked to origin, its diversity and local access are all matters that affect sustainable food systems and healthy diets in a positive way.

Sustainable Gastronomy is a global commitment, a shared responsibility for the production and consumption of food. It implies public, private, producer, business, professional and travel institutions should support the consumption of sustainable food and create links with local producers.

The commitment of gastronomy towards the principles of sustainability include; poverty reduction, efficient use of resources, environmental protection and climate change, and the protection of cultural values, heritage and diversity.

Finally, what about individuals? What actions can we take?

We can all contribute to the fight against climate change and many of us have already adopted habits in our daily lives (recycling waste, reducing the use of plastic bags, etc.). The choices we make in our eating habits also have an impact on the environment. So before you go food shopping, ask yourself:

  • Is the product in season – or has required a significant amount of energy to grow in a greenhouse?
  • Where does it come from – how many miles has the product travelled?
  • How was it grown – by a small farmer or an industrial plant?

When taking action, let's think globally, eat locally.