Sustainable Gastronomy Day

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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 is a global event aimed at promoting culinary traditions that respect the environment and the local culture. This Observance emphasizes the importance of preserving traditional cooking practices while also focusing on using ingredients that are sustainably sourced and have minimal environmental impact. The goal is to ensure that culinary traditions are preserved, while also taking care to protect the environment and the diverse and unique flavours from around the world.

The United Nations declared Sustainable Gastronomy Day in 2016 to raise awareness about the role of gastronomy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable gastronomy has the potential to create a positive impact on the South African economy by encouraging the use of locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients. It also allows South Africans to showcase their rich and diverse culinary traditions while promoting environmental consciousness and cultural preservation.

Typical customs and activities surrounding Sustainable Gastronomy Day in South Africa often involve showcasing the country's local cuisine through food festivals, markets, workshops, and other gastronomic events. These activities promote the use of indigenous ingredients, such as rooibos tea, biltong, and amadumbe, while highlighting the importance of sustainable farming practices and waste reduction. Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed annually on June 18th, serving as a reminder for South Africans and citizens worldwide to embrace and promote culinary practices that are mindful of the environment and their cultural heritage.

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.
  • South Africa is home to the largest fleet of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fisheries on the African continent. The South African hake fishery was the first in Africa to earn the MSC ecolabel.
  • South Africa's indigenous foods, such as morogo (wild spinach), marula (wild plum), and spekboom (an edible succulent plant), play a crucial role in promoting sustainable gastronomy. These ingredients are drought-tolerant, rich in nutrients, and promote environmental conservation.

Top things to do in South Africa 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.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about gastronomy in South Africa. Here are our top picks:
    1. A Bite of the Mother City: Cape Town Food Safari (2016) - This is a documentary that explores the diverse culinary scene in Cape Town, South Africa, and its influence from various cultures.
    2. Food, Booz & Good Times: South Africa (2018) - This travel documentary shows the host experiencing the food and local culture of South Africa.
    3. Making Food Tradition: Soweto-Style (2013) - This short documentary dives into the food culture and heritage of Soweto, a township in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Read a book to learn more about sustainable gastronomy in South Africa. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Sustainable Gastronomy in South Africa: Culinary Traditions, Local Food Sources, and Innovative Practices by Abigail Donnelly
    2. The South African Culinary Tradition: A History of South African Food and the Role of Sustainable Gastronomy by Tiisetso Sehoole
    3. The Table is Set: A Sustainable South African Culinary Journey by Nicolette Veldhoen

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