Simran Sethi on Biodiversity, Food Waste, and Climate Change

Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi (author of Bread, Wine and Chocolate, recently translated into italian by Slow Food Editore) took some time from her Italian book tour to visit the Slow Food headquarters in Bra and talk to us about three topics with which we are all deeply concerned. She suggests new ways to talk about biodiversity, food waste, and climate change that may help us to communicate with others and bring us closer to these complex subjects.

The term biodiversity is something that can feel elusive and intangible. Yet we know that it is one of the most critical issues in food today. Biodiversity loss is often talked about in quantifiable ways, using staggering numbers and percentages to describe the breeds and varieties that are disappearing. But this may not help us connect to this complex and far-reaching problem. When we look in the supermarket, we see what looks like aisles and aisles of choice. It is hard to see that just a few ingredients make up many of these foods, and that the loss of biodiversity impacts what we eat and drink from the soil to seeds and pollinators, from plants to animals and fish.

So, how can we demonstrate and communicate the importance of food biodiversity in a way that deepens this connection? Simran suggests that flavor is one of the primary ways we can experience, and savor, biodiversity and achieve a deeper connection to our food. We reach for food because of its taste, its deliciousness, its nutritional benefits. Behind these qualities is biodiversity.

We understand there is terroir in wine and cheese, but it can exist in all foods if we allow it. Simran suggests that understanding and appreciating these diverse flavors and tastes of place can help us build a more resilient, diverse and delicious food system.

Take a look at the video to see what else this experienced food communicator has to say about biodiversity, food waste, and climate change, three of the most important topics of our time.

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