Montserrat Fontané, mother of Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, confessed that she would be happy eating dishes from his childhood in the house where he was born. Her children wanted to please her but they found that many of the food they needed no longer existed, so they started their recovery with the project ‘Sowing the future’.
Late november The documentary that collects his trips to geoplasm banks in Zaragoza and Norway will be released –the largest in the world- or his encounters with the Ecuadorian Seed Guardians Network and with cooks who share their concern about the alarming loss of biodiversity and try to get citizens to buy and eat responsibly.
To recover the varieties of purple potatoes, radishes, endives, beets, tomatoes, melons or buckwheat that his mother longed for, the trio in charge of El Celler de Can Roca -with three Michelin stars in Girona and several times recognized as the best restaurant in the world- created four years ago a 12-hectare orchard in which they are “Sowing the future” thanks to seeds of species that are no longer cultivated.
Together with BBVA, an ally in other projects since 2013, decided to document the process to “raise awareness”, Joan Roca tells Efe, especially in the houses, because “that’s where the real power is.”
“That the consumer check if the product is local or kerosene has been burned to move it or worry about the exploitation of the sea. If their grandparents have told them about ingredientsPerhaps they will ask for them in the market and from there they will claim the farmer, not only to recover them, but to not lose what we have, “he exposes.
Since it is a global problem –“in Spain the task is to rescue species and in Latin America to prevent them from being destroyed”, warns- in the documentary they have had other chefs linked to sustainable gastronomy such as Leonor Espinosa (Colombia), Santiago Blondel (Argentina), Rodrigo Pacheco (Ecuador) or Jorge Vallejo (Mexico).
“Cooking can change the world for better and for worse. SIf we choose to prey on natural resources, there won’t be much left to do; if we can be sustainable, ethical and responsible with the social fabric, with the preservation of our cultures and ecosystems we can have a better world “, the Mexican, in front of Quintonil, argues to Efe.
Pacheco, who supplies his Bocavaldivia restaurant with the nearly 400 species that he has introduced into the ten hectares of his “biodiverse edible forest” and acts as an FAO ambassador in Latin America, praises that the Roca are a speaker of this “costly and painful loss “:” It is a message that the world needs to hear and it is extraordinary that El Celler de Can Roca and the brothers validate it and help raise awareness “. Awareness that, as the first-born of the Roca family says, “the dish begins to cook on the ground and in the primary sector.”
It is not the first time that the brothers warn about the loss of biodiversity “at a forced march”. The world leaders who came to Madrid for the Climate Summit in 2019 were served, also with the support of BBVA, the menu La Tierra se exhausted with dishes that denounced the drought, depleted seas or global warming.
And it is that, assures Efe Álvaro Toledo, undersecretary of the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, andhe picture is “pretty bleak”, with data such as the loss of around three-quarters of agricultural varieties in the last century.
Therefore urges “diversify agriculture and food”, for which it is necessary to “infect all the actors in the food chain” with messages like those of the Roca brothers, because “many times cooks reach the population in ways that international institutions such as FAO cannot.”
For the global director of Responsible Business at BBVA, Antoni Ballabriga, “we are facing a major challenge” that requires “transform agriculture and land use”, so “Sowing the future” comes “at an ideal time” because, although “climate change is the emergency that is most talked about, the loss of biodiversity also needs attention”. “We want this project to be a seed that grows and that you all help us so that we can have a sustainable and inclusive future”, asked Joan Roca.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.