Sustainable gastronomy means cuisine that takes into account the sustainable process of sourcing the ingredients, bringing them to our markets, and eventually to our plates. Sustainable Gastronomy Day emphasizes the need to focus the world's attention on the role that sustainable gastronomy can play.

The UN General Assembly adopted on December 21, 2016, a resolution designating June 18 as an international observance, Sustainable Gastronomy Day. The decision acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the UN General Assembly work to facilitate the observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day, in collaboration with the 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 to promote sustainable gastronomy include:

  • Launching the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, created in 2004 to share best practices and develop partnerships in 7 creative fields. As of 2020, 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.

Why are sustainable food and agriculture important?

FAO’s vision for sustainable food and agriculture is one in which food is nutritious and accessible for everyone. Natural resources are managed in a way that maintains ecosystem functions to support current and future human needs.

In this vision, farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, foresters, and other rural dwellers have their voices heard, benefit from economic development, and enjoy decent employment. Rural men and women live in security, control their livelihoods, and equitable access to resources they use efficiently.

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Shristi Banerjee, 

Practising Advocate, High Court of Jharkhand (India)