In addition to its interlinkages with the three dimensions of sustainable development, sustainable gastronomy can play a role promoting agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production and the conservation of biodiversity.
The commitment to sustainability implies responsibility for the production and consumption of food. This means that public, private, producer, business, professional and travel institutions should support the consumption of sustainable food and create links with local producers. The commitment of gastronomy towards the principles of sustainability include:
- poverty reduction;
- efficient use of resources;
- environmental protection and climate change; and
- the protection of cultural values, heritage and diversity.
Every day, everywhere, family farmers work hard to produce the food we eat. 80% of the food we eat depends on the hard work of family farmers.
How the UN System Works for a Sustainable Gastronomy
The General Assembly, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) work to facilitate the observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day, in collaboration with Member States, UN organizations and other international and regional bodies, as well as civil society, to observe the Day in raising public awareness of its contribution to sustainable development.
Some of UNESCO’s initiatives include:
- The UNESCO Creative Cities Network, created in 2004 to share best practices and develop partnerships in 7 creative fields. As of 2018, 26 cities have been designated Creative Cities of Gastronomy;
- Promoting clean energy for local restaurants (use gas and electricity instead of coal, use natural gas rather than carbon);
- Raising public awareness of sustainable gastronomy through TV food channels and gastronomy shows and through food cultural exhibitions, intended for the food industry and farmers.
As for the FAO, the Organization promotes green culture diets that are not only healthy but sustainable and suggest that countries that already have dietary guidelines should begin to consider a process of incorporating sustainability into them.
The “Crop of the Month”, an FAO online feature, has been promoting the diversification of crops in favor of underutilized traditional crops, and applying sustainable food production and natural resource management practices.