Coronavirus and biodiversity: Reflections from a Food and Wine Lover

During this time of quarantine, we have a great opportunity to slow down, reflect on ourselves, on our lives, and also on the planet. My thoughts often move towards the environment that surrounds us, upon which we have presumed an infinite “endurance”.

Is there a link between Coronavirus and the impact of humanity on natural ecosystems? Yes. Now we have the confirmation, sustained also by The World Wildlife Foundation. According to the latest WWF Italy report, there are links between man’s erroneous behavior towards the environment and the spread of epidemics. The first reason is the illegal and uncontrolled trade in wild species. The second is the destruction of natural habitats and biodiversity, causing the breakdown of ecological balances capable of contrasting microorganisms responsible for certain diseases and creating favorable conditions for their spread.

Now we are with our backs to the wall - closed in our homes or facing the pandemic on the front line - and the time has come to listen to nature.

It is neither easy nor immediate, but we must all do something.

In wineries there is more and more attention paid to these issues. In fact, protecting and strengthening biodiversity in the vineyard is essential for the sustainability of wine production. Why is it so important? The coexistence between lives, plants, animals, and microorganisms creates a balance capable of influencing the soil’s ability to be resilient to changes in environmental conditions

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So now it is no longer just a “philosophical” choice or empathy towards the planet, but it is a choice that the winegrower must make for the continuity of their work. It becomes more and more necessary to choose processes and products in the vineyard that are more compatible with maintaining favorable levels of biodiversity. As a passionate connoisseur and consumer of wine, my attention and my interest move naturally to those producers who are committed to producing a wine in full respect of the environment, a wine that communicates its terroir with sincerity and authenticity.

For this reason, the work of companies such as Tailor’d Wine Design, supporting the microbiology of the soil, offering products that strengthen the health of the vines, thereby improving the quality of the grapes with a greatly reduced environmental impact, is indeed imperative.

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What are your thoughts as consumers? As for the viticulturists, what are you doing to make your wineries more sustainable?

In this “slow” time at our disposal, I believe it is imperative to rethink our relationship with nature and maybe change our eating, and drinking, habits for the better.

Here, for all of us, are 10 suggestions from the WWF to inform our food and beverage choices:

1) buy local products;

2) eat seasonal products (there are many apps with information);

3) decrease meat consumption (it is not easy for many, it would already be a step forward to buy better quality meat from sustainable farms);

4) choose local, seasonal and sustainable fish (there is a world to discover!);

5) Reduce food waste;

6) Favor organic products;

7) Avoid products with excessive packaging;

8) Avoid overly processed foods (ready meals);

9) Drink tap water (unfortunately not possible everywhere);

10) Avoid waste when cooking at home (use lids, favor stainless steel and pyrex glass containers).

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