The Ark of forgotten foods


The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity’s Ark of Taste collects and catalogues small-scale quality products that are connected to cultures, history and traditions around the world. Such rediscovery of local agricultural biodiversity may have a global effect and contribute to food system resilience around the world.

Plant diversity is declining in farmers’ fields and rising numbers of livestock breeds are at risk of extinction. In fact, only nine species account for 66% of total crop production. The world’s livestock production is based on about 40 animal species, with only a handful providing the vast majority of meat, milk and eggs. The Ark of Taste is a global online catalogue that was created to document and bring attention to the diversity of food and to the risk that many of these food products and practices might disappear within a few generations. Over 5,100 products and species from all over the world can be found in the Ark. These include domestic species, wild species and processed products. To be part of the Ark, the products must be distinct in quality and linked to a specific area, as well as to the identity of a group and to local traditional knowledge. The Ark of Taste is currently the only initiative of its kind.

Topics covered