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A new approach to an old theme, Sustainable Gastronomy

In Peru we have become accustomed to being a World’s Leading Culinary Destination (nine times winners of the World Travel Awards), but such glamorous awards should not remain in the high spheres and galas that celebrate such achievements, but rather highlight that it is in the poorest corners of Peru, where the treasures that delight demanding palates are cultivated.

This is when sustainable gastronomy is needed:

Modified from Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries on-line

FAO explains it as follows, Sustainable gastronomy, therefore, means cuisine that takes into account where the ingredients are from, how the food is grown and how it gets to our markets and eventually to our plates.

Now you can watch our short-video about the sustainable harvesting of an Amazonian fruit.

And these issues concern us for several reasons: as a company, because we are dedicated to tourism and for the experiences that gastronomy provides; and as individuals, who care about our Peru, the planet and the people who inhabit it, because we work with families of farmers and fishermen, restaurants from one to five forks and we offer box lunches for excursions included in the itineraries of our customers.

Causa rellena served in a restaurant in Lima / Pablo's family farm in Vicos / Box-lunch for excursion in Cusco.
Causa rellena served in a restaurant in Lima / Pablo’s family farm in Vicos / Box-lunch for excursion in Cusco.

So, to help us focus our efforts on achieving our main objective, which is: to travel our path as close to sustainability as possible, we are guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide us with guidance, while our suppliers and customers provide motivation, and our environment and people provide inspiration.

This is how we present our point of view:

Ending rural poverty is key to ensuring food security

We cannot conceive that those farmers and fishermen who provide the most expensive ingredients for the great recipes are malnourished and/or go hungry, are underpaid and lack the possibility to cover their basic needs.


Food must be safe, sufficient and affordable for everyone

Peru is the cradle of civilization, with an ancient history in the cultivation of the land and with superfoods that have provided the world with irreplaceable sources of nutrients, but that are not always guaranteed for its inhabitants.


Good health starts with nutrition

Poverty, low levels of education and junk food propaganda lead people to believe that the external is the best and that processed food is the most practical. We love the Slow Food movement.


A nutritious diet is essential for learning

The Ministry of Education of Peru, with the assistance of World Food Programme has been promoting the development of integrated educational projects linked to school feeding, with the objective of improving health and nutrition habits from the schools.


Gender equality could boost agricultural productivity by 20%

We love the examples of our very empowered women producers that you can meet on many of our tours. But in general terms women are seen as weak for work in the fields.


Local women and children protect themselves from the rain by putting a plastic bag on their hats and colorful ponchos around their shoulders. Community-based tourism in Peru - RESPONSible Travel Peru
Women and children of Vicos.
Sustainable agriculture has the potential to cope with water scarcity

Technology has almost always been alien to the field, but with projects adaptable to the water realities of the different regions of Peru, important changes could be generated in the saving of water resources.


Food systems must overcome their dependence on fossil fuels

Especially in the transport and refrigeration chains, which is why we always promote seasonal crops, catch of the day and local products (“Local” food miles).


But the reality in our country is that migration from the countryside to the city, in search of better opportunities, is a serious threat to agricultural life and production. We seek to make tourism an alternative economic source for farmers.

Traveler interacting and laughing with the local community of Ccorccor on a visit. Community-Based Tourism with RESPONSible Travel Peru
Traveler interacting with the local community of Ccorccor during an agricultural activity
Innovation opens new markets for small-scale farmers

The new reality (accelerated by the arrival of the coronavirus) has brought producers closer to end consumers through the use of networks and mobile applications, but in our country it is still an incipient relationship.

Example of business using an Instagram account for produce trading
Land reform can offer fairer access to rural land

At present, the big producers, owners of large tracts of land, are the big winners. But neither monocultures nor monopolies are to our liking, so we will always continue to work with small businesses, families and small businesses.


Achieving food security means reducing food waste

Worldwide, one third of food production is wasted and Peru does not escape this reality. That is why we promote all those chefs and restaurants where responsibility is present.


We know that land use has the greatest impact on the global changes we are experiencing, so we support agroforestry, as promoted by our ally Victor Zambrano, National Geographic Explorer and creator of the K’erenda Homet Nature Reserve in Tampopata where we always suggest our passengers to make a visit.


Fish provides 3 billion people with 20% of their daily ration of animal protein.

We love to make use of the fish guide that informs about bans, minimum sizes and ways to cook the most consumed species, and alternatives to avoid fishing pressure on them. Download it by clicking on the image.

Size does matter. This is a “ruler” accompanied by practical information on how to decide your purchase of fish

We believe that we can all make a difference with our choices, what we buy, what we consume and ultimately how we manage it. And that giving as much support as possible from where you are or during a trip is key to achieving sustainability.

Finally, here are some tips for a more sustainable diet:

  • Reduce consumption of animal foods (or completely avoid it).
  • Do not waste
  • Buy local (i.e. if you come to Peru, avoid imported goods or from far regions of the country).
  • Consume more natural, raw, or whole (and less processed) products.
  • Consume preferably organic or eco-friendly products
  • Buy only seasonal products (for this matter consult your guide)
  • Prefer fair trade (we will suggest those on your route).

And we also share with you one more of our blogs about options for vegans in some of the most visited regions of Peru.

ABOUT RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL PERU

RESPONS’ mission is to improve living conditions in Peru through developing and promoting sustainable tourism. We’ve implemented a business model in which all areas of human relations are respected, and - equally important - respect for the planet is incorporated.

Following this business model, we practice fair trade, foster cultural identity, promote equal opportunities, and we preserve the environment that surrounds us and other species.

Together with you we improve, day by day, on the always-demanding path towards sustainability.

Tours in Peru

Travelers and locals playing volleyball together on a visit to the floating Uros Titino islands at Lake Titicaca - RESPONSible Travel Peru

Peru the Local Way: our signature trip

Car driving by lamas and alpacas in the Andes - Road Trip - RESPONSible Travel Peru

A Different Kind of Road Trip through Southern Peru

Selia and three young travelers showing off the dishes after the cooking class | Responsible Travel Peru

Cooking Class in Cusco

Child Matsiguenga posing for our photographer | Responsible Travel Peru

Exploration to the heart of the Manu National Park

Spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca from the community of Vicos | Responsible Travel Peru

Short immersion in the Andean community of Vicos

Guido assisting the locals in Vicos with opening the Pachamanca and gathering the freshly cooked potatoes. Community-Based Tourism in the Andes - RESPONSible Travel Peru

The complete Vicos experience with Pachamanca

San Martin square is characterized by the big monument to the independence leader | Responsible Travel Peru

Lima Walking Tour

Close up of a chef serving ceviche on a dish | Responsible Travel Peru

Lambayeque Gastronomy Workshop