Traditional food as a cultural heritage    Play Audio
Module 1, Unit 1, Level: Advanced

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Traditional food, cultural heritage, legacy, GPI, PDO, cultural identity, social value



Traditional food as a cultural heritage
Traditional food is a valuable asset of a community, region or nation. Each country has been developing for centuries a wide repository of knowledge on how to feed people in a pleasant and efficient way, using the products and means that were available to them. This knowledge includes farming and livestock, conservation and preparation techniques, and recipes that have been created, passed down, and improved over many generations.
Dificulty/time required   Cultural heritage / international recognition   Cheap / affordable / expensive   Similar products / recipes   Food / Product at risk of disappearance   Flag of the country associated   Flag of the country associated   Flag of the country associated   Flag of the country associated  
Traditional food has multiple benefits, such as:

- Health benefits, since traditional food is natural and little processed, uses natural preservatives such as salt, spices, oil, or smoke, thus excluding chemical or industrial means for its conservation and preparation. In addition, a traditional diet contributes to reducing obesity, preventing cancer and other diseases.

- Benefits for local economies, helping to maintain traditional farming and livestock, generating work and being the basis for the development of new businesses such as rural and gastronomic tourism, cultural routes, local trade, etc.

- Benefits for rural societies, by promoting the economic development of these areas, which contributes to fixing population in the regions, avoiding the abandonment of the countryside.

- Benefits for the environment, since traditional local cultivation preserves the quality of the land, uses less water and energy and avoids the transport of food between distant territories.

- Benefits for the cultural identity of peoples and regions, due to their intrinsic value as a heritage that differentiates territories and enhances awareness of the identity of communities and peoples.
Representative Products
All natural and local varieties of vegetables, breeds and food characteristic of a region or territory, and specially those depicted in the Mediterranean food pyramid
Further references
Article: Mediterranean diet as intangible heritage of humanity: 10 years on.,of%20food.%E2%80%9D%20%5B4%5D

Edible Identities: Food as Cultural Heritage (Heritage, Culture and Identity) 1st Ed. By Ronda L. Brulotte (Author)

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