The Ark was created to point out the existence of products with cultural, traditional and heritage significance and draw attention to the risk that they might disappear within a few generations.
Agricultural biodiversity and small–scale, family-based food production systems are in danger throughout the world due to industrialization, genetic erosion, changing consumption patterns, climate change, the abandonment of rural areas, migration, and conflict.
Ark of Taste in South Africa
The Ark of Taste is an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods that is maintained by Slow Food International. The Ark captures and holds knowledge of cultural foods that are at risk of being lost. It includes the rich diversities of flavours and sustainable methods of production and processing that still exist in the many distinct eco-regions of the world.
The Ark of Taste invites everybody to take action!
In some cases, products need to be rediscovered and put back on the table, and producers need to be supported and to have their stories told; in others, such as the case of endangered wild species, it might be better to eat less or none of them in order to preserve them and favour their reproduction.
The goal of the Ark of Taste is to create a vast catalog with contributions from many people to represent the planet’s edible diversity at risk of being lost. You do not need to be an expert, have particular skills or even be a Slow Food member. The only prerequisite is an interest in the product and commitment to do a little research. You many nominate a product from your own area, but also from other communities or towns, for example a cheese, fruit variety or jam discovered during a trip or holiday. All nominations will be assessed by the Ark Commission to gauge their suitability for inclusion.