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Traditional Diet

A traditional diet is a diet that was considered normal in a given location prior to the advent of industrial agriculture and the general availability of fresh foreign food. In particular, the term may refer to the diet of native populations such as the Native Americans, Khoisan and Australian aborigines.

Traditional diets vary with local resources, such as fish in coastal towns or grains in farming towns, as well as with cultural and religious customs and taboos. The traditional diet of a region is to some degree reflected in its classic cuisine, which is generally more representative of the diet of the well-to-do, however.

In many cases, the crops and domestic animals that characterize a traditional diet have been replaced by modern high-yield crops, and are no longer available. This leads to a decline in genetic and culinary variety, often with disastrous consequences. Notorious examples include the eradication of the Creole Pig.

The slow food movement attempts to counter this trend and to preserve traditional diets.

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