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World Sustainable Gastronomy Day Emphasizes on Protection of Food & Culture in Society

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

Sustainable gastronomy promotes agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production and biodiversity conservation. Let us support our farmers, try out local foods especially those rich in protein, include local ingredients in our recipes and avoid food waste. 

Gastronomy refers to the study of the relationship between food and culture and the commitment to sustainability implies responsibility for production and consumption of food. To acknowledge gastronomy as a cultural expression related to nature as well as the cultural diversity of the world. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development throughout the world.  

World Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed on 18 June all over the world. In December 2016, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 18 June as World Sustainable Gastronomy Day by adopting resolution A/RES/71/246. The United Nation General Assembly (UNGA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) work towards facilitating observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day, in collaboration with the member states, UN organizations and other international and regional bodies, as well as civil society. 

The day is observed to emphasize the need to focus world’s attention on the role that sustainable gastronomy can play in addition to its interlinkages with the three dimensions of sustainable development which is in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting and supporting agricultural development, nutrition, food security, conservation of biodiversity & sustainable food production. As over 1/3 of food produced is either wasted or lost. SDGs 2, 3 and 12 goals demand a more sustainable use of our locally made foods, herbs, and local cuisines. 

By eating sustainably produced local foods: We support our farmers, Keep culinary traditions alive, Avoid food wastage, Reduce processed & Packaged foods & Ensure healthy diets. It also cherishes your traditional recipes & keeps your culinary roots alive. 

Insect-based gastronomy is on the rise globally and it is not just for humans. Last year a British company made sustainable dog food from black soldier fly larvae. Most innovative ideas like bug butter, ant sprinklers or roasted grasshopper as insect-based food are cheaper, sustainable and rich in protein, fibre and mineral. Will it be the future foods of humans?  

Chef Joseph Yoon, Executive director Brooklyn Bugs says, “It takes a fraction of resources to grow a pound of crickets as it does for a pound of beef. And so the amount of water it takes, the greenhouse gas emissions that it emits compared to livestock’s, the amount of land that’s is required, the amount of feed that’s is required there are so many factors that just leads to, “You know this kind of smart.”  

Of the 1 million known insect species, 1900 are consumed by humans. Some of the most consumed insects include beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, locusts and crickets & eating insects can help tackle food insecurity, says United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In India, it is estimated that 303 insect species are consumed by tribal communities in 10 states. Khajuri poka or date palm worm is a delicacy in Odisha's Rayagada district, inhabited by Khond and Sora tribes.  

Current health crisis with the Coronavirus pandemic, sustainable gastronomy, which celebrates seasonal ingredients and products and contributes to the preservation of wildlife and our culinary traditions, becomes more relevant than ever. 

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