One of the ways of describing the gastronomy that best represents it is ‘the art of preparing a good meal’. It is also used to refer to a cooking style from a certain region. But the normal way that we use the term gastronomy is to talk about food and cooking in a place.
Sustainability in the world of food implies carrying out activities related to gastronomy (for example, agriculture, fishing or even preparing a meal) without wasting our natural resources and being able to continue it in the future without harming the environment or the health.
To understand it better, it is necessary to know that sustainable gastronomy is synonymous with a cuisine that takes into account the origin of the ingredients, how they have been cultivated and how they reach our markets, to finally use them in our dishes.
The decision to celebrate Sustainable Gastronomy Day recognizes it as a cultural expression of the world's natural and cultural diversity. In the face of the current health crisis, due to the COVID-19 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.
It is true that agricultural production systems face unprecedented challenges, this is due, among other things, to the growing demand for food for a population that is constantly growing, to high competition due to the decrease in natural resources, the loss of biodiversity, emerging pests and diseases, and the adverse effects of climate change.
Global food and nutrition security is under threat. This livelihood of small farmers and producers, who depend on agriculture, forestry and fishing, is at risk.
To protect all this, a fundamental change in policies and practices at the global and national levels is necessary, in this way to be able to promote the transition towards sustainable food and agriculture, promoting innovations, and strengthening decision-making based on science, capabilities and technologies, in order to reconcile environmental, economic and social demands, while balancing synergies and compensations.
It is expected that by 2050 we will reach 9.3 billion inhabitants in the world, and we must support changes in dietary patterns, since it is estimated that food production will have to increase from the current 8.4 billion tons to almost 13.5 billion tons by the year.
The common vision for Sustainable Food and Agriculture must address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of each region, to guarantee sustainability. Some principles, which could collectively guide the transition process towards greater sustainability, are summarized as:
- Increase productivity, employment and value added in food systems.
- Protect and improve natural resources.
- Improve livelihoods and foster inclusive economic growth.
- Improve the resilience of people, communities and ecosystems.
- Adapt governance to new challenges.