Last updated: 7 january, 2011 - 17:35 GMT

Community and Society

Terra Madre

Sheila Dillon hears from some of the world's disappearing food tribes and finds out why efforts are underway to preserve indigenous food cultures in north America, Scandinavia and in Scotland's Highlands and Islands.

Members of an indigenous community preparing food.

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

She travels to Turin for Terra Madre, the biennial gathering of food communities, farmers, fishermen and cooks organised by the international Slow Food movement.

Among the 6,000 delegates - who'd travelled from 160 countries - are people from indigenous communities like the Sami, nomadic arctic reindeer herders as well as native American rice harvesters, the Ojibwe.

Scientists, agriculturalists and nutritionists are now taking more interest in these traditional cultures seeing them as valuable models of sustainable food production and offering fresh insights into human diets.

But many of these food cultures are under threat because of disputes over land rights, prejudice and climate change and so work is underway to understand, document and support these communities. Sheila meets the people involved in making this happen.

This documentary was first broadcast on click BBC Radio 4 and aired on BBC World Service on 7 January, 2011





BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.