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Do it yourself, and save in spades. The new frontier of anti-waste is self-production.

Lifestyle / -

CF autoproduzione immagine

If anyone is looking for a hobby that fulfils personal creativity, and helps gain control over foods quality they buy and save, I have just the thing: a new contemporary trend that is sustainable and affordable for everyone. It's called self-production.

According to a of Coldiretti/SWG survey in 2012, 51% of Italians are trying to reduce what they use and food waste through new strategies. They are buying fewer products in large supermarkets; leftovers from meals are thrown own with more consideration than in the past; and more attention is being given to labels and expiration dates on packaged foods. In short, as is clear also from a recent study of the Università di Milano-Bicocca and the Centro di ricerca interuniversitario in economia del territorio (CRIET) - Italy’s Interuniversity Centre of Research into Local Economy - Italians are buying less, but better.
Another piece of research conducted by Coldiretti in 2013, highlights in particular a new trend that involves families: food preparation in the home, such as pizza, bread, pasta and baked goods as used to happen in the not-too-distant past, when the habit of buying and cooking industrial foods or ready-made meals was not as common as it is today. 

A visible effect of this contemporary trend, at least in bookshops and on the web, is the spread of manualsItalian and foreign blogs who treat domestic self-production as a hobby that allows you to give vent to personal creativity, to have greater control over the quality of ingredients, and also to save on costs.
Sustainable theories
The belief that healthy food is an investment in personal health, but also for that of the planet, sometimes leads supporters of self-production to embrace particular views of the world, such as ecotarianism, a lifestyle followed by those who choose only food produced in a sustainable way or the theory of voluntary downscaling thanks to the contribution of the French economist Serge Latouche that calls into question the development model that has tended towards unlimited economic growth, proposing that we re-establish the economy starting from more sustainable assumptions.
Creativity and saving
Hundreds of books, facebook pages and videos on Youtube have sprung up in recent years promoting self-production of food, such as bread made ​​with sourdough, bean shoots or handmade conserves, but also home-made and low cost soaps, toothpastes and face creams, produced with great personal satisfaction, judging by the comments by the authors.
Self-production does not necessarily save time, but it can make economic savings. Making a food product in your kitchen, such as cookies or tortillas, with flour and water is worth it. Just compare the cost of the ingredients used for the self-production (mostly staple foods such as flour, sugar and eggs) with the cost of a pack of the same product purchased at a supermarket.
The recovery of ancient knowledge
This new form of domestic autarky is created primarily from the need to keep costs down, but also a healthier diet without additives or fats of dubious origin and recovering knowledge and craftsmanship that was once the asset of housewives and artisans, lost a few decades ago with the industrialization of food.
There are also facebook groups springing up whose members exchange simple and economic recipes that most of the time far outstrips the industrial version. Whether you want to self-produce a cream with hazelnut cream, rosemary soap or vegan croissants for breakfast, the ingredients on the web, also with comprehensive video tutorials that show all stages of the recipes in action.
Sustainable lifestyles
Whoever chooses the path of self-production does not do it just to make ends meet. Often those who set out on this path do not necessarily have a passion for cooking, but over the years has probably matured an ecological conscience that needs to express itself in everyday life, with concrete and sustainable actions. Those who become self-producers look to buy food that is as fresh as possible, natural, organically grown or maybe zero distance, and those who live in the country, or those with a terrace in the city, do not mind the possibility of a small allotment for growing fruit, seasonal vegetables and herbs.

Kyrgyzstan, the country of eagle hunters

Culture / -

cover National Day Repubblica del Kyrgyz
© Frans Lanting/Corbis

Kyrgyzstan has a long history and a rich culture. The country participates in the Universal Exhibition in the Fruits and Legumes Cluster, and on May 29 celebrates its National Day.

Kyrgyzstan sits like an eagle perched on the summit of Central Asia, distant and mysterious like a high altitude pasture. Bordering China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, 80 percent of its territory is covered by mountains that are over 7,000 meters in height. Since ancient times, it has served as a crossroads for caravan routes that connected the East to the Arab-Persian and the Greek lands.
The country has been crossed by countless populations and has been part of numerous empires. In 1991 Kyrgyzstan gained its independence from the Soviet Union, becoming the Kyrgyz Republic. Its ethnic mosaic has given it a great cultural wealth: besides the majority population of the Kyrgyz, Uzbeks and Russians are also present, along with Dungans, Uighurs, Tajiks, Kazakhs and Ukrainians.

Eagles and apricots
An important part of the Kyrgyz Republic’s income is derived from deep inside its mountains, thanks to the mining sector, while on the surface, grand pastures are swept by the wind with semi-nomadic shepherding still widespread. Sheep, goats, horses and yaks inhabit the landscape of Kyrgyzstan. The traditions of the horsemen of the steppes are still deeply rooted, including the ancient practice of hunting with eagles.
The westernmost part of the country, sloping down to the Uzbek and Kazakh plains, has been agricultural land since the dawn of civilization. Here we find an abundance of fruit, especially grapes and apricots, which are dried in the sun using traditional methods. Other typical products of the region are beans, potatoes and cereals.

Kyrgyzstan at Expo Milano 2015
The Kyrgyz Republic participates in the Universal Exhibition in the Fruits and Legumes Cluster, located more or less in the middle of the north side of the Decumano. Its Pavilion showcases its agricultural production and traditional dishes. On the occasion of the National Day of Kyrgyzstan, the space also hosts a full program of cultural and artistic events, allowing visitors to get a taste of the multifaceted identity of Kyrgyzstan.

The fruit and vegetable markets of the world

Culture / -

1 di 1
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
© Jeremy Woodhouse/Blend Images/Corbis
Gonder, Ethiopia, Africa
© Gavin Hellier/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis
Phnom Penh Cambodia
© Marc Dozier/Hemis/Corbis
Trivandrum, India
© Neil Emmerson/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis
Devaraja market, Mysore, Karnataka, India
© Neil Emmerson/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis
City of Konya, Turkey, Central Anatolia
© Bruno Morandi/Corbis
Washington DC, USA
© Chris Parker/Design Pics/Corbis
Shekhawati, India
© 167/Alex Treadway/Ocean/Corbis

With their brilliant colors, fruit and vegetables markets represent all the Planet's biodiversity in just a few square meters, scattered across on the Planet, from India to Cambodia, and from the United States to Ethiopia.

Over a million people are already #FoodConscious. What about you?

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