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.


The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) cordially invites you to a book launch webinar for its recent publication, "Taking Agroecology to Scale - Learning from Natural Farming in India." AFSA established a strong working relationship with RySS, which resulted in 15 online webinars on scaling natural farming. Trocaire assisted AFSA...
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is organizing the Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production (GPC) with the theme “Innovation, Efficiency and Resilience”, on 2-4 November 2022. The overall objective of the Conference is to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable plant production to implementing...
Agriculture in Africa is arguably the most important sector, given its contribution to food security, as well as its being the continent’s principal source of income and livelihoods as well as the main source of employment for more than half of Africa’s population – the majority of them being women. The aim of this work...
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