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

Agroecology Newsletter of November 2022
Newsletter
2022
Ecosystem restoration has the potential to significantly contribute to reversing biodiversity loss, supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation, and increasing societal well-being, including gender equality. This policy brief provides the lessons learned from an analysis of ecosystem restoration benefits. The work draws on the experiences of five successful restoration initiatives within...
Policy brief/paper
2022
El Rancho Ecológico de Vía Orgánica es un modelo educativo de producción agrícola orgánica regenerativa y la vida sostenible. El Rancho es un centro de formación, contacto y colaboración para campesinos, familias y activistas. La visión del Rancho es luchar contra el cambio climático, la degradación ambiental y la pobreza rural...
Mexico
Learning
2017
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fragility of today’s global food systems, and the risk of a food crisis is higher than ever. Yet the failures of industrial food production have long been clear; manifest in persistent global hunger and malnutrition as well as environmental destruction that is driving the...
Article
2020
This publication aims to provide an overview of actions and initiatives on Agroecology in Europe and Central Asia countries. There is enough evidence that agroecology contributes to more sustainable food systems, in particular to delivering food production while respecting natural resources, ecosystem services and social processes. However, to assure agroecology can...
Report
2020