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.


This fact sheet presents a family agroecosystem, located in the community of Enjeitado in the Sertão do Pajeù in Brazil – the most populous semi-arid region in the world. Sabià Agroecological Development Center Initiative is a family agroecosystem focused on the recovery of soil fertility in the Caatinga area. The agroecosystem...
Food and agriculture have always been a central battleground for the deployment of new technologies. The power vested in technology to transform the global economic system has never been greater. The exponential technological changes ushered in by the so-called fourth industrial revolution can upturn all economic sectors, including food and...
Agriculture is of undeniable importance in the Kingdom of Morocco. Its economic and social weight, its affiliation to the rural world, as well as the diversity of its functions in food, socio-economic and environmental aspects, make it a natural locomotive of development and economic growth. Aware of the country's remarkable...
"Do you care about sustainable farming, the environment, and agroecology? Do you belive that youth are part of the solution and can lead an agricultural revolution that is much needed in the Mekong region? Feeling creative? Find a story, do your research, gather your team, grab your camera, and get...
Cambodia - China - Lao People's Democratic Republic - Myanmar - Thailand
From the 1st of September until the 1st of October, 2017, the agroecological transition will be highlighted through more than 40 events organized with the collaboration of numerous partners. Agroecological produciton aims at preserving natural resources and avoiding the use of agrochemicals. Agroecology is about the reconciliation of economic viability, environmental...