International and Italian legal literature has dedicated considerable worthy research to food law in relation to questions such as food security, quality and typicality (along with the related topics of indication and guarantee of origin), the right to food, as well as food sovereignty. The same cannot be said, however, in the matter of food diversity as a significant value in law, with the exception of a few recent research initiatives underway. The genetic diversity of the living sources of food is a value that is certainly implicated in food diversity, but, as this paper seeks to show, the latter is a value of synthesis that, despite encompassing animal, vegetable and microbial biodiversity, is not exhausted only within it. What seems useful therefore is an endeavour to investigate the problem of food diversity from a broader perspective so as to delineate some frames of reference. Food diversity can be said to be a synthesis of multiple diversities. It is a value system where numerous legal values of primary importance under constitutional protection converge and are contained: environment/biodiversity, territorial autonomy and differentiation, landscape, cultural heritage, human health, personal and religious freedom, and the educational choices of the family. The strengths of these basic value aggregate organically, conferring to food diversity a role of absolute primary importance in law. As this paper proposes, recognizing cultural diversity as a complex, systemic and life-related legal value, that is, as a “condensation” of the normative energy originating from the combination of multiple constitutionally fundamental legal values that are bound up with the supreme value of life in its differing scales, which in their turn are inextricably interrelated, permits the attribution to food diversity of a much stronger (respecting the situation to date) “resistance” in law against purely economic interests.
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