Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Biodiversity in Words, Pictures and Music


I kept a written text from Slow Food on my bulletin board for many years pertaining to the subject:

Today, thirty plants feed 95% of the world's population.

In the past century, two hundred and fifty hundred thousand plant varieties have gone extinct, and one plant variety disappears every six hours.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Europe has lost more than 75% of its agricultural biodiversity, whereas the US have lost 93% of their crop species diversity.

One third of native cow, sheep, and pig breeds has gone extinct or is on the road to extinction.

Three quarters of the world's fishery reserves are at risk of extension.

In winter, lettuce travels from California to London and carrots are flown from South Afric to Sweden. In the US, a product on a supermarket shelf has traveled on average 1288 kilometers.

These figures show what is wrong with the hyper-productive agricultural model that is common today. This approach has not succeeded in ridding the world of hunger, actually, it is responsible for widespread pollution, and it has made the variety of food available around the world sadly limited. This model has also facilitated the destruction of the cultural and gastronomic identity of entire populations, and has dramatically reduced the diversity of available food.

This is why Slow Food is fighting for a new model of sustainable agriculture: one that focuses on quality products. This is why Slow Food defines itself as a movement of "eco-gastronomes", individuals that believe in that the ecological defense of our planet and the defense of traditional agriculture are links and that to enjoy the pleasure of fine food one must be cognizant of the environmental impact of its production.

These are very serious words not to be taken lightly....

Biodiversity exists in Lebanon too. We have a duty to safeguard every aspect of it. Here are but a few, in photos of course...

The plains of the Bekaa Valley
Street merchants from Tripoli
Traditional bread-making

The cedars of Lebanon

Harvest of olives
Grapes for wine in Bhamdoun

Fishermen teaching the young

A woman from the south of Lebanon

Farming the old-fashion way
Traditional lifestyle

Youth, our only hope
Apricot season

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