Undervalued and overlooked
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Global livestock production systems reflect a European colonial legacy. Worldwide, conventional farmed species are skewed towards the iconic sheep and cows of the temperate north, often at the expense of more resilient and locally adapted species.
European livestock breeds have fueled the age of empire building. In the process, they have been imposed on the culinary tendencies of those colonised. Many traditional tropical foods have been suppressed, and globalisation has continued to apply downward pressure in the post-colonial era.
Exotic livestock and the culinary oddities they give rise to have often failed to penetrate the global consciousness. This is partly because popular trends and televised cooking shows remain the preserve of western worldviews - a subversive form of culinary oppression that has eroded traditional food diversity and locally adapted resilience.
But the world is changing. Despite mounting efforts, research focused on conventional agriculture is struggling to find the necessary breakthroughs needed to meet the oncoming food security challenges. Incremental improvements in existing production systems just aren’t enough anymore. Like fossil fuels and the combustion engine, the utilitarian value of conventional livestock has reached its planetary limits.