Find Out How Slow Food Protects Biodiversity
Biodiversity is not a luxury, but a fundamental prerequisite of well-being
Cristiana Pașca Palmer, Executive Secretary of UN Biodiversity from Convention on Biological Diversity
Slow Food Presidia
If variety is at the base of a healthy diet, the richness of biodiversity in nature can help us stay well. In the plant kingdom, native varieties develop natural defenses that take the form of antioxidant substances beneficial for humans.
The Slow Food Presidia support quality food production at risk of extinction, protect unique ecosystems, revive traditional processing methods, and safeguard local breeds and plant varieties. Thanks to good production practices (including avoiding synthetic chemicals and the use of artificial preservatives and other additives), the fertility of the soil where plants are cultivated, and the wholesome diet given to farmed animals, Presidia products are more nutritious than similar conventionally produced foods.
The label is the one of the first tools we can use to work out the quality of our food, and not just in terms of nutrients and calories: Reading the ingredients, which are listed in descending order of weight, can offer an initial way of understanding the level of processing of a food and to check for hidden sugar and salt as well as artificial additives and flavorings.
Slow Food has come up with the concept of the narrative label, a tool that supplements the legally required information with more environmental and cultural details and aspects closely linked to the health of a geographic area and the community that lives there.
Slow Food Gardens
Food gardens are one of the main projects that Slow Food promotes around the world and one of the most effective tools for food and environmental education. In some contexts, for example in Africa, cultivating a food garden with agroecological practices can be an essential way of defending food sovereignty and boosting the health and resilience of a community. Developing a food garden in a school is key to transmitting knowledge and skills linked to food culture and environmental protection to the younger generations.
Projects like Orto in Condotta in Italy, Slow Food USA’s National School Garden Program, and the 10,000 Gardens in Africa aim to reconnect young people (and adults) with nature, teaching them how to grow and appreciate authentic food.
Slow Food’s Earth Markets are farmers’ markets that follow Slow Food principles. These meeting hubs encourage exchanges between communities and local food producers. Shoppers come to find local, seasonal, sustainably produced food, sold directly by the producers. These foods are naturally healthy, they reflect biodiversity, and they preserve local food culture.