Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Culture and food traditions: by supporting healthy, diversified and culturally appropriate diets, agroecology contributes to food security and nutrition while maintaining the health of ecosystems

Agriculture and food are core components of human heritage. Hence, culture and food traditions play a central role in society and in shaping human behaviour. However, in many instances, our current food systems have created a disconnection between food habits and culture. This disconnection has contributed to a situation where hunger and obesity exist side by side, in a world that produces enough food to feed its entire population.

Almost 800 million people worldwide are chronically hungry and 2 billion suffer micronutrient deficiencies. Meanwhile, there has been a rampant rise in obesity and diet-related diseases; 1.9 billion people are overweight or obese and non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes) are the number one cause of global mortality. To address the imbalances in our food systems and move towards a zero hunger world, increasing production alone is not sufficient.

Agroecology plays an important role in re-balancing tradition and modern food habits, bringing them together in a harmonious way that promotes healthy food production and consumption, supporting the right to adequate food. In this way, agroecology seeks to cultivate a healthy relationship between people and food.

Cultural identity and sense of place are often closely tied to landscapes and food systems. As people and ecosystems have evolved together, cultural practices and indigenous and traditional knowledge offer a wealth of experience that can inspire agroecological solutions. For example, India is home to an estimated 50,000 indigenous varieties of rice – bred over centuries for their specific taste, nutrition and pest-resistance properties, and their adaptability to a range of conditions. Culinary traditions are built around these different varieties, making use of their different properties. Taking this accumulated body of traditional knowledge as a guide, agroecology can help realise the potential of territories to sustain their peoples.

Database

The virtual workshop on ''Agroecology and safe food system transitions for green, inclusive and resilient COVID-19 recovery in the Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN)'', was organized through the project ''Agroecology and Safe Food System Transition'' (ASSET) by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), FAO, the French...
Event
2021
FAO and Civil Society Organizations are presenting the Webinar ''An introduction to the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE): Metrics for Sustainable Food and Agriculture'' on 12 and 15 November 2021. FAO in dialogue with Civil Society Organisations and academia developed a global analytical framework for the multidimensional assessment of the performance...
Event
2021
02/12/2021 | 14:00 –15:30 CET Organic and agroecological fruits and vegetable growers provide excellent examples of how is possible to produce in a sustainable way, protecting the environment, growing biodiversity, preserving the soil and mitigating and adapting to climate change.  Organic and agroecological producers build sustainable and inclusive value chains that contribute...
Event
2021
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is presenting a webinar event that will mark the launch of ‘’The Politics of Knowledge: Understanding the Evidence for Agroecology, Regenerative Approaches, and Indigenous Foodways’’ on 6 December 2021 at 10:00 – 11:30 AM ET / 16:00 – 17:30 PM CET. The...
Event
2021
FAO has recently partnered with the organization IN SITU to measure the impact of agroecology through the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE) in 60 farms surrounding Rosario City in the State of Santa Fe, Argentina. The results of that assessment and their connection to public policies for territorial development will...
Argentina
Event
2021