Slow Food – Regional Biodiversity
Slow Food chapters and members are working to address the rapidly decreasing diversity of foods in their communities. Some focus on consumer interest in bringing back rare foods and food traditions. Some encourage people in their region to support local farmers. Others hold taste education events or film screenings to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity in food and farming.
The global food system is becoming increasingly homogenized in a way that’s unhealthy for people and the environment, disconnecting us from our cultural food traditions, and presenting a serious threat to the future of our food supply.
Of the fifty thousand edible plant species in the world, three of them (rice, corn, and wheat) are responsible for over sixty percent of the world’s caloric intake, which leaves us all vulnerable. Rich genetic diversity is crucial to food security. Not only will global climate change necessitate an unpredictable new set of phenotypes, but a shallow gene pool is less able to be resilient in the face of new viruses and pests.
The biodiversity in the United States was once rich but due to the narrow range of plants and animals that suit the needs of industrial agriculture, it is increasingly difficult for biodiverse farmers and producers to grow and find a market for their products.