16 October, World Food Day: a focus on living heritage and foodways

  • 13 October 2021
One of the last elements inscribed on the Representative list:
One of the last elements inscribed on the Representative list: "Knowledge, know-how and practices pertaining to the production and consumption of couscous", Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia
© Direction du patrimoine culturel, Ministère de la culture, Maroc, 2018

Current estimates are that nearly 690 million people are hungry, or 8.9 percent of the world population – up by 10 million people in one year and by nearly 60 million in five years. The Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2, ‘Zero Hunger’) notably targets the maintenance of genetic diversity of seeds, the implementation of resilient agricultural practices and the enhancement of agricultural productive capacity in developing countries.

Numerous forms of living heritage support these aims. For example, traditional diets contribute to food security and good nutrition through the knowledge and beliefs related to foodways, from the cultivation of crops to the preparation of meals. Some forms of living heritage focus on the sanctity of food and encourage eating locally grown produce, thus reducing food waste (SDG 12, ‘Responsible consumption and production’) and carbon emissions (SDG 13, ‘Climate action’). Many cultures also follow the practice of food-sharing among community members, helping alleviate hunger while strengthening social bonds.

Browse through our resources below to discover some of those elements!

Related foodLiving Heritage elements
BreadArt of Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ (Italy)
Flatbread making and sharing culture: Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufka (Azerbaijan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey)
Il-Ftira, culinary art and culture of flattened sourdough bread in Malta (Malta)
Lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia (Armenia)
BeveragesAncient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method (Georgia)
Arabic coffee, a symbol of generosity (Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)
Beer culture in Belgium (Belgium)
Turkish coffee culture and tradition (Turkey)
Fruits and vegetablesDate palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices (Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen)
Nar Bayrami, traditional pomegranate festivity and culture (Azerbaijan)
Oshituthi shomagongo, marula fruit festival (Namibia)
Tradition of kimchi-making in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
Diet and foodwaysDolma making and sharing tradition, a marker of cultural identity (Azerbaijan)
Gastronomic meal of the French (France)
Hawker culture in Singapore, community dining and culinary practices in a multicultural urban context (Singapore)
Knowledge, know-how and practices pertaining to the production and consumption of couscous (Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia)
Mediterranean diet (Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal)
Oshi Palav, a traditional meal and its social and cultural contexts in Tajikistan (Tajikistan)
Traditional Mexican cuisine - ancestral, ongoing community culture, the Michoacán paradigm (Mexico)
Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year (Japan)
Lavash dance scene Read more on the element
A Maltese family preparing ftira for school lunch Read more on the element
Inserting lavash in tanūr by the man and spreading the dough by the woman, Dūshānlū village, Meshkin Shahr, province of Ardabil (Islamic Republic of Iran) Read more on the element
The second phase: the real performing art that assumes a character of ability due to the master of Naples Pizzaiuoli Read more on the element
Ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method Read more on the element
An Omani elderly man teaching a child how to make Arabic coffee in Al-Hadheera (an enclosure where people of the old days used to make coffee, specially the Bedouin) Read more on the element
Turkish coffee culture and tradition Read more on the element
Groupe de gens au café Read more on the element
Children enjoying Kimchi-making play. Read more on the element
Squeezing marula fruits Read more on the element
Nar Bayrami traditional pomegranate festivity and culture Read more on the element
Dolma making and sharing tradition, a marker of cultural identity Read more on the element
An Indian Muslim hawker cooking briyani (rice dish) Read more on the element
Groupes de femmes roulant le couscous d’un mariage à (Algérie) Read more on the element
Mediterranean diet Read more on the element
Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year Read more on the element
The ritual Sabzirezakunon (cutting the carrots) in Panjakent Read more on the element
Traditional Mexican cuisine - ancestral, ongoing community culture, the Michoacán paradigm Read more on the element
La transmission par l’école Read more on the element
Top