Sustainable Gastronomy Day

Quick Facts - NZ

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2024 Date18 June 2024
2025 Date18 June 2025

Sustainable Gastronomy Day

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Sustainable Gastronomy Day History

Sustainable Gastronomy Day serves to highlight the importance of gastronomy that respects ecosystems, encourages biodiversity, and supports local cultures. Through a focus on ethical production and consumption of food, this global event aims to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Among its key aspects are promoting local ingredients, supporting traditional dishes, reducing waste, and fostering environmental consciousness.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Sustainable Gastronomy Day on 21 December 2016, emphasizing its importance in achieving sustainability and food security in our rapidly evolving world. New Zealand, being a country with rich agricultural heritage and unique food culture, plays a significant role in promoting sustainable gastronomy. New Zealand's emphasis on sustainability, focus on maintaining adequate food production for current and future generations, and conservation efforts align with the core principles of Sustainable Gastronomy Day.

In New Zealand, Sustainable Gastronomy Day is marked by various activities aimed to raise awareness and inspire positive change. These may include showcasing local and indigenous ingredients in cooking events, promoting traditional recipes, and organizing seminars and workshops focused on sustainable food practices. Many restaurants and cafes participate in this observance by offering special menus that reflect New Zealand's commitment to sustainability. New Zealanders are encouraged to taste and appreciate the rich variety that their local cuisine offers while focusing on the importance of sustainable practices. Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed on the 18th of June every year.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day facts

  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 1/3 of all the food produced in the world is either lost or wasted every year.
  • UNESCO recognizes 30 food and drink-related traditions as part of its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • Sustainable gastronomy encourages the utilization and promotion of locally grown or locally produced food products to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable gastronomy in New Zealand often incorporates traditional Māori ingredients, such as kumara (sweet potato), horopito (native pepper), and harakeke (flaxseed), as well as cooking techniques like hāngi (earth oven cooking) and preserving techniques like paoa (smoking).
  • New Zealand is renowned for its quality produce, much of which is grown using organic or biodynamic agriculture practices. These methods involve avoiding synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and focus on improving soil quality and the overall ecosystem.

Top things to do in NZ for Sustainable Gastronomy Day

  • Discover 6 tips on how to reduce food waste.
  • Visit your local farmers market. By buying locally you can help support farmers and your community.
  • For Sustainable Gastronomy Day in New Zealand, consider preparing a dish that includes locally-sourced, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Green-lipped mussels: New Zealand is known for its delicious green-lipped mussels. Cook them in a simple garlic and white wine sauce or with a creamy curry sauce to showcase their flavor.
    2. Roasted kumara salad: Kumara, or sweet potato, is an iconic New Zealand vegetable. Roast chunks of kumara, then toss with fresh greens, feta cheese, and toasted nuts for a delicious salad.
    3. Foraged pesto pasta: Forage for wild herbs to create a unique and sustainable pesto sauce. Blend the herbs with garlic, nuts, and olive oil before tossing with pasta.
  • Read a book to learn more about gastronomy in New Zealand. Here are our top picks:
    1. Kai ora: Maori cuisine, culture and history by Peter D. Mataira. This book explores the traditional Maori cuisine, their way of sourcing food sustainably, and the culture and history surrounding it.
    2. Foraged Flavour: The Ultimate Guide to Harvesting and Cooking Wild Foods by Anna Barnett. Learn about foraging and using indigenous ingredients found in New Zealand's forests and wilderness.
    3. New Zealand Seafood Cookbook by Auckland Seafood School. A comprehensive guide to preparing and cooking seafood, with a focus on local, eco-friendly, and sustainable practices in New Zealand's fishing industry.

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