In addition to wild plants and animals, there are plant species that have been domesticated by humans, and animal breeds that have been selected by humans for milk and for meat. With domestication, a natural wild species enters the family and home environment and can be controlled.
Domestication not only involves planting a seed or taming an animal, it means selecting and therefore gradually changing a seed or animal so it better adapts to a particular area.
The FAO estimates that 75% of domestic vegetable varieties have been permanently lost. The figure rises to as high as 95% in the United States. Now 60% of global food supplies are based on just three cereals: wheat, rice and corn-not on the thousands of varieties of rice selected by farmers which were at one time grown in India and China, or the thousands of corn varieties which used to be grown in Mexico. Just a few hybrids selected and sold to farmers by a handful of multinationals.
Slow Food's first impulse was to take action on this issue of domestic biodiversity, or agrobiodiversity. So we don't only focus on the panda or monk seal, but also the Gascon chicken and Kempen sheep; not just edelweiss, but also Ustica lentils.