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"Our gastronomy enhances and respects our roots and is one of the richest in the region.”
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales led celebrations Tuesday of the U.N.’s Sustainable Gastronomy Day saying “Our Food Is One Of The Best” celebrating Bolivia’s rich gastronomic heritage. The country has made large strides in sustainability, hoping to achieve complete food sovereignty by 2020
“On the Day of Sustainable Gastronomy, Bolivians celebrate with great pride, the diversity and quality of our food products and national dishes. Our gastronomy enhances and respects our roots and is one of the richest in the region,” said Bolivia’s President Morales on Twitter.
Much of Bolivia’s cuisine revolves around traditional ingredients such as chilies, corn, quinoa and freshwater fish. One Indigenous farmer, Carmelo Flores, who is thought to have lived to the age of 123 claims to have stuck to a diet of Indigenous foodstuffs such as Oca and shunned certain carbohydrates not traditional to the Andes, such as rice and noodles.
The Andean country has taken a number of progressive measures to ensure a sustainable food policy. These include a 2009 ban on the cultivation of GMO crops and a constitutional commitment to food sovereignty. Bolivia’s leftist government announced in 2017 that due to large investments in small farmers, the country was producing 95 percent of what was required for internal consumption.
In that time Potato production jumped from 80,000 tons a year to more than a million tons between 2006 and 2016. Tomato production also soared, increasing from 50,000 tons a year to 80,000 tons over the same decade. This reduces Bolivia's dependency on foreign imports and reduces the carbon footprint involved in importing large quantities of foods across large distances.