Jul 25, 2010, 10:06 AM
Post #1 of 7
Mexico Seeks To Protect Its Unique Cuisine
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Tacos, tamales and chiles rellenos have earned worldwide fame but could be in danger from modern-day threats such as junk food, the introduction of transgencis and the contamination of Mexico's water systems, says the National Commission for Arts and Culture (Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes or Conaculta). Mexico
With this in mind, Mexico wants international recognition for its 7,000-year-old culinary tradition.
Conaculta recently sent UNESCO a request asking that Mexico's cuisine be included on the organization's World Heritage list.
Conaculta president Sari Bermudez believes this country's gastronomy meets the requirements of originality and prolonged historical continuity that UNESCO demands for inclusion on the list.
Supporters of the idea say Mexican cuisine is unique and differs vastly from that of other nations, such as France or Italy, because food here is prepared in exactly the same way as it was thousands of years ago.
Bermudez said the UNESCO designation would oblige this country to commit itself to preserve and promote indigenous and regional cuisine, as well as the cultivation of traditional crops.
Much of Mexican cuisine is based on the use of corn (maize) which ancient tribes believed to be sacred and created by their gods. Although Mexico has declared a moratorium on the cultivation of transgenic corn, there are fears this country's corn crop could become contaminated by the abundance of imported transgenics.
The request submitted to UNESCO is unusual as the World Heritage list consists mostly of old buildings, ancient villages, towns or cities, scenic areas and national parks.
"No one has ever dared to present a food system as a cultural way of life. It's a novelty," a Conaculta official told Reuters recently.