What we do globally
Saving endangered foods and defending gastronomic traditions through our biodiversity projects.
Ark of Taste
The Ark of Taste project started in 1996 in Turin. It is an online catalogue that is growing day by day, gathering alerts from people who see the flavors of their childhood disappear. The Ark travels the world collecting small-scale quality foods that belong to the histories, cultures and traditions of the entire planet: an extraordinary heritage of fruits, vegetables, livestock breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and cured meats.
By promoting these products and the traditions and knowledge that surrounds them, we hope that future generations will still be able to access their local culinary culture.
In order to be selected for the Ark, the products should be:
food products, such as domestic species (plant varieties, ecotypes, indigenous animal, breeds and populations), wild species (only if tied to methods of harvesting, processing and traditional uses) and processed products (cheeses, cured meats, breads, desserts, beverages, preserves and so on, which have evolved in order to conserve raw ingredients).
of distinctive quality in terms of taste;
associated with a particular geographic region and its traditions;
produced by small-scale craft producers;
produced by using sustainable farming methods;
at risk of extinction.
Presidia – small-scale projects to help artisan food producers preserve their traditional processing methods and end-products-were first devised by Slow Food in 2000 and are the operational extension of the Ark of Taste. Presidia projects are based in specific local geographic contexts around the globe. Strategies vary according to project and product, but whether they involves a single small-scale producer or a group of thousands, the goals are always the same:
to promote artisan products;
to stabilize production technique;
to establish stringent production standards;
to guarantee a viable future for the foods in question
The Earth Markets are an international network of markets where small-scale producers of local food products can display and sell their goods directly to the public. As a result, consumers maintain close relationships with farmers, fishermen, breeders, cheesemakers etc., and, by sharing with them experiences and information, can increase their understanding of what a healthier, tastier and more responsible diet means in their region.
At Earth Markets, producers sell products that:
are seasonal and local;
meet the“good, clean and fair ”criteria;
are priced reasonably and transparently.
The Alliance of Chefs
A network of chefs defending food biodiversity and culinary heritage across the world.
The chefs are encouraged to use seasonal and regional ingredients （for instance products from Presidia projects and the Ark of Taste） in their kitchens in order to raise awareness of traditional food products and culinary heritage and are requested to add the names of the producers to their menus in order to give visibility to their work. The Alliance chefs travel, meet with one another, participate in events and cook together.
Gardens in Africa
In Africa, Slow Food is creating a network of young people working to save the Continent's extraordinary biodiversity, raise the profile of traditional knowledge and food culture and promote small-scale, school, community and family farming.
The 10,000 food gardens are the tool for making this dream come true. By establishing a common vegetable garden in villages, schools and city suburbs, the local community re-recognizes the value of its forgotten local diets, which are based on local nutritious, healthy and delicious ingredients. The Slow Food garden program can rebuild local food systems, determine self-sufficiency of the population and dramatically change the future of African agriculture .
Narrative labels is the innovative food labeling method conceived by Slow Food Foundation to allow consumers to make informed choices. Narrative label provides the detailed information about the producers, including its business model, animal and plant varieties, planting or breeding，the varieties or breeds that have been used, cultivation techniques, processing methods, animal welfare，the place of origin and how to store, all elements are recorded one by one in order to ensure that consumers acquire more accurate information.
Food and taste education
Slow Food believes that by understanding where our food comes from, how it was produced and by whom, adults and children can learn how to combine pleasure and responsibility in daily choices and appreciate the cultural and social importance of food. Our education initiatives are organized for varied audiences of children and adults, teachers, Slow Food members and the general public. They take many different forms: school gardens, guided tastings, farm visits, practical workshops and meals with producers. In addition to this, Slow Food launched the University of Gastronomic Sciences in 2004 to create a new understanding of gastronomy and a new professional -the gastronomy-capable of linking the act of eating with act of producing, along with all the phases in between.