Ljubljana, 12. 10. 2022
»Some argue that
humans are programmed to seek out the good stuff, but our tastes and choices
have been so heavily edited that we’ve lost that sense now,« points out Dan Saladino,a journalist and presenter of the weekly Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 where he’s been reporting on
food and agriculture for the past 15 years.
Saladino is also the author of the book Eating to
Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, where he
travels through countries so diverse as Syria and Faroe Islands, from Tanzania
to Scotland, from Albania to Turkey, seeking out wild and endangered foods
through the people and the land they come from, and the traditions and cultural
identities they represent.
The book is a voyage through the ingenious ways our
ancestors learnt to farm and prepare lentils, rice, chicken, honey, oranges and
cheese over thousands of years. Each food, and each community, helps explain
how in the blink of an evolutionary eye we lost so much diversity in our diets
– and why it matters. “Diversity matters for food security, our health, the
planet’s health, for local economies, and to give us options for the future,«
It feels like a book everyone even remotely interested
in food and worried for the future of food diversity, the future of our planet,
should read. It has a real sense of urgency at the same time Saladino takes us
on a beautiful journey through very different cultures and traditions that are
either lost or on the brink of being lost, forgotten in time, in globalized
world where we as a species evolved with
so much diversity but have created a system based on uniformity and we’re
seeing the fragility of this, as he explains.
work has been recognized by
the Guild of Food Writers Awards, the Fortnam & Mason Food and Drinks
Awards, and by the James Beard Foundation, has been focusing on the exploration
of some of the thousands of foods around the world that are at risk of being
lost forever, showing just how important – and precarious diversity is.
The important questions he poses are: Why is it that we had this huge diversity of foods? When did we start to
lose diversity? How did that happen? To get the answers and the context Saladino
has been doing a lot of in-depth research and fell in love with the stories of
different farmers, different cultures around the world, bringing to light an
ingredient he has never heard of and most definitely the broad public never
As he emphasizes, he is not a
scientist, he is a story teller. And there are some pretty great, sometimes
incredulous stories to be told when it comes to consumption of food through
time and cultures.
Even though Saladino spends a
lot of time underlying this urgent message of disappearing diversity, he also
offers a lot of inspiring stories of how these forgotten foods or crops are
being rediscovered and revived in places around the world. One such example he
likes to give is the Kavilca wheat from eastern Turkey, one of the earliest
wheats to be domesticated. It was the wheat that the people who built the
pyramids were farming and eating, same as the people who built Stonehenge. What
gave Saladino huge amounts of optimism was that more and more farmers were
growing this wheat, and it was being celebrated and used by chefs in Istanbul. A
modern contemporary story of a food being brought back from the brink.
Za Evropski simpozij hrane piše Kaja Sajovic.