Promoting Plant-Rich Food Culture
We have embarked on an exciting journey with cook and content creator Julius Fiedler, to unearth the rich heritage of artisanal plant-rich gastronomies that exist across the world
In an era where the sustainability of animal products is one of the most pressing issues , Slow Food is exploring how we can rebalance our diets—transitioning away from industrial meat and dairy products and toward good, clean and fair food of plant and animal origin.
Join us as we discover its culinary world and the crucial role it plays in combating the climate crisis.
The True Costs of Industrial Animal Products
The current trajectory of industrial products of animal origin production and consumption is rapidly becoming unsustainable. This poses significant consequences for the climate and animal welfare, not to mention our personal and planetary health.
Shocking projections by the FAO reveal that if global meat consumption doubles by 2050 to reach 500 million tonnes annually, our entire food system will face collapse. The livestock industry alone is responsible for 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions (even more than the global transport sector).
Reducing our consumption of animal products is fundamental if we are to mitigate catastrophic climate change and make our global food system sustainable.
The Urgency for Change
Addressing this trend demands immediate action!
When looking to reduce our consumption of animal products, the risk of failure looms as plant-rich food often comes in the form of hyper-processed substitutes.
The plant-rich products you find in your local supermarket are often overpriced, smothered in plastic and industrially sourced from environmentally damaging monocultures, making them just as unhealthy and unsustainable as their industrial animal alternatives
But alternatives exist, if we know where to look.
We have been exploring how local and traditional predominantly plant-rich diets are vital in the fight against climate change, making food ecosystems more resilient to climate shocks.
Discovering Plant-Rich Food Culture through Taste
Julius’ ”Vegan Cultures” is a captivating documentary that recalls a time when vegetables, legumes and other plant products were the mainstay of meals across cultures.
Animal and plant-rich products used to be well balanced in our daily diets with people relying on local vegetable varieties and honing their invention and skills to grow, transform and pair them. But we’re now seeing an increased consumption of cheap meat and dairy products due to the industrialization of food production and a dearth of diversified diets.
Driven by curiosity and his desire to share this culinary cornucopia, Julius immerses himself in the world of Italy’s Slow Food producers. These people exemplify the tradition, sustainability and artisanal know-how of our global network.
Julius’ journey through Tuscany and Sicily offers a unique insight into the indispensable role played by local small-scale farmers and producers in upholding community life and culture while preserving food biodiversity.
Small-scale farmers who cultivate locally and sustainably play a vital role in combating climate and social injustice.
By embracing agroecological practices, they create food ecosystems that respect natural balances while ensuring sufficient, accessible and healthy food. Not only does this preserve invaluable culinary heritage, it cultivates a harmonious relationship with the planet, safeguarding a more sustainable world.
Julius’ journey might have begun in Italy, but his discoveries resonate all around the world, wherever people have learned to make the most out of vegetable ingredients. Every food culture on the planet holds a rich heritage of incredible plant-rich food based on local plant varieties. By seeking them out and reconnecting with them, we can play our part in preserving them for the future.
What can you do to plant the change?
Curious to delve deeper into Julius’ trip? Sign up for our monthly emails created with Meatless Monday and get plenty of insights and Slow Food recipes from cooks he visited delivered straight to your inbox.
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Check out Julius’ YouTube channel and join him on his trip around Italy.