Reply To: 8. Past solutions for future transitions

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Vincenza Ferrara # Posted on June 15, 2015 at 17:37


Globalisation has been accused to have destroyed local identities, unifying almost all the globe also regarding people´s food habits.
As an immediate consequence of such complex dynamics, on the other side of no- global movement several organisations and NGOs protecting and promoting sustainable development, rural identities, local food and ancient varieties have arisen worldwide.
These movements claim places have a taste, meaning with this sentence that real local food products (food grow and produced locally at a small-scale level) reflect in their taste the “terroir”.
Used in the past only by enologists to characterise the qualitative properties of niche wines, “terroir” is an extremely fascinating French word expressing the combination of biophysical and cultural elements that together produce place-based tastes and flavours.
And nowadays it has been more and more applied also to understand the links other products (which pretend to be local) have with their own territories (cheeses, oils, marmalades, meat, liquors, and so on).

A first question for the case study will be then if the concept of “terroir” could be useful to define what a real local product is, supporting then local producers and no-global movements to fight against the negative effects of globalisation, preventing them as well.
An immediate consideration should then be related to the notion of local product: to what degree we may consider a “local product” only a product which is simply grown and produced at a local level? Or there may be some kind of social dimension in what we define local product? In other words, could a local food product also be socially produced?
Moreover, how really old is food globalisation?
And finally, could a place have a taste?

Slow Food Foundation

Sofie Joosse, 2014. Is it local?A study about the social production of local and regional foods and goods, Geografica 5.

The Globalisation of Food and Plants, YALE Global Online,