Food Sovereignty and 'buen Vivir' in Ecuador

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:50
Oral Presentation
Paolo CORVO, University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy
The study of Ecuador's reality is particularly interesting because the concept of food and nourishment is closely related to a specific idea of wellness pertaining to the indigenous population, sumak kawsay, which in spanish translates as "buen vivir" or in English as "good living". Here we find a conception of food and lifestyle different from the current Western model. Dayly routines in the Andes, such as cooking or farming, have an epistemological character since they are spaces of common interaction, Pachamanka, the Andean method of cooking food by covering it with earth, is closely related to food sovereignty. The methods for preparing and consumig food are reflections of culture and environment within a certain context. The food system represents a relationship both self-centred and related to the others, as a strategy for survival and individual and collective wellness. Ecuador's new Constitution (2008) includes the sumak kawsay or buen vivir as a main principle. It declares a new relationship with nature and states that nature is a subject of rights and respect. It also declares a new horizon of coexistence within a plurinational democracy, a new model of economy based on solidarity and equity and a new democracy based on reinforced citizens' participation. In this framework food sovereignty, that is, the right to make decisions regarding one's food, becomes a multidisciplinarity strategic objective, a platform for developing public policies aimed at overturning the destructive logic of the dominant agro-industrial model and at reaching the sumak kawsay.