A national consumer campaign was launched in Ecuador last week by a group of organizations, including Slow Food, to promote food sovereignty and responsible consumption. Called “¡Que rico es comer sano y de mi tierra!” (how rich to eat healthily from my land!), the new initiative was promoted at events from April 16-22, with involvement from some of the 14 local Slow Food convivia (groups).
“Ecuador’s farmers and indigenous people have had a long history of fighting for their rights, and now this campaign brings the consumer into the picture, highlighting our power to make good decisions for us and our land and to influence the food system,” said Claudia Garcia, Slow Food Ecuador coordinator.
“We need to appreciate the ‘richness’ of food, not just for the diversity of flavors, but for the nutritional, environmental, social and cultural benefits, as was displayed at the major campaign launch in Quito yesterday – a large agro-ecological market that offered culinary and urban farming workshops, music and more,” said Garcia.
One of the driving issues behind the campaign is health, with Type 2 diabetes currently the second leading cause of death in Ecuador. Campaign material states: “Living in Ecuador is like living in paradise. But despite the abundance here, we are changing our diet and eating decreasing amounts of fresh produce. Today, adults and children prefer fast food, soft drinks and processed foods.”
“In Ecuador, the consumption of fast food and unhealthy eating habits has led to a large percentage of the population suffering from diet related illnesses,” said Esteban Tapia, Slow Food Amawta Kawsay leader. “This campaign encourages us to re-discover ingredients and foods consumed by our ancestors that are being pushed out by new products on the market.”
Amawta Kawsay is working with students from the School of Gastronomy at the International University of Ecuador, to develop Taste Workshops for children and adults that present Ecuador’s cultural heritage through food and flavor.
The campaign will be run for at least a year, with various activities to be undertaken by more than 50 participating organizations and individuals coordinated by the Consumer Commission of the Multi-ethnic and Intercultural Conference on Food Sovereignty – COPIS.
“We hope the campaign will evolve as more people join and more events and local activities happen, all with the goal of making our food system good, clean and fair,” said Garcia. “Or as our campaign states: ‘rico, sano y de mi tierra’.”
For more information on the campaign: www.quericoes.wordpress.com
Slow Food Ecuador