Food Forever Experience


From 22 to 24 May 2019, we held a three-day gastronomic and scientific voyage to celebrate the International Day on Biological Diversity in the heart of the Andes and the birthplace of the potato.

Led by the Food Forever Initiative, in close collaboration with CIP, the Crop Trust and Inkaterra Hotels, the experience featured leaders from government, business, science and the media and sought to raise awareness of the enormous opportunities and vital importance of agrobiodiversity to food and nutritional security, climate resilience, business innovation and economic competitiveness. We were honored to have the Peruvian President, Martín Vizcara, the Vice President and Food Forever Chair, Mercedes Aráoz, and the Prime Minister, Salvador del Solar, in attendance.

During the main event on Thursday 23 May, the President of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, and Vice President of Peru, Mercedes Aráoz, ratified their commitment to promoting the conservation of Andean and Amazonian biodiversity and signed the International Declaration of Interdependence ‘A vision of biodiversity that guarantees our food forever’, the first of its kind, which marks the beginning of a Peru and a world – with improved care for the biodiversity of our foods.

The event was graciously supported by PepsiCo and Wong, and it proved that together, we can plant the seed for a more diverse, sustainable and delicious future.

Meet the Speakers

The Ingredients

  • Aguaymanto

    The aguaymanto berry has many different names outside of Peru. “Goldenberry” is one. Another, “Inca berry”, refers to its history, and “physalis” to the group of plants it is in. In French, it is often called “amour en cage” (love in a cage), due to the distinctive papery calyx that the fruit grows in. One of the crop’s newest nicknames is “Cape gooseberry” because of its more recent cultivation in South Africa.

  • Brazil Nuts

    Brazil nuts are edible seeds from the Brazil nut tree, one of the largest trees in the Amazon rainforest said to age over 500 years. Brazil nut trees are native to South America and can be found in large forests on the banks of the Amazon River. The nuts, which are highly nutritious, grow inside a round, coconut-like shell holding anywhere between ten and twenty Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts contain high levels of “good fat” and vitamins and are the richest known food source of this important nutrient selenium.

  • Camu Camu

    Camu camu is a small, bushy tree that grows along rivers in the Amazon rainforest and its fruits have traditionally been harvested from the wild by canoe.  It survives best in hot, damp, tropical climates, but will grow in the subtropics, surviving temperatures down to just above freezing. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids, and has only recently made it to the world market.

  • Star Fruit

    Star fruit is a tropical fruit native to the Malayan archipelago with a flavor that’s sweet and sour. First discovered by the Portuguese, the fruit was called carambola in India in the Malayalam language, meaning “food appetiser.” The Portuguese took the fruit from India to Africa and South America and then on to Europe in the 18th century where it was considered a highly fashionable fruit and served only in exclusive restaurants. Today, star fruit is eaten raw, as a juice and also used in making jellies and sweets. 

  • Cassava

    Cassava is currently the sixth most produced crop in terms of global production, and is the staple for millions of people in the poorest and most marginal regions of the world. Cassava is a perennial woody shrub with an edible root, which grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. It is also called yuca, manioc, and mandioca.  It is very hardy and has the ability to grow on land where drought is frequent and in soils low in nutrients, where cereals and other crops do not grow well.  Cassava’s high starch content provides a valuable source of carbohydrates, much higher than those of maize or rice, and  the roots can be processed into a wide variety of granules, pastes, flours, or consumed freshly boiled or raw. In Africa, people also eat the leaves of the cassava as a green vegetable, which provide a low-cost source of protein and vitamins A and B.

  • Chirimoya

    Chirimoya is native to higher parts of tropical America. Its sweet flesh has been described by Mark Twain as “deliciousness itself.”And it’s good for you too, containing vitamin B6, vitamin C and dietary fibre. The seeds, however, are poisonous and can be crushed and used as natural insecticides.

  • Choclo

    Choclo, also known as Peruvian corn or Cuzco corn, because of its origin in the unique environment of the Sacred Valley, needs no introduction here in Cusco. Choclo is typically white in color and used as a typical accompaniment to ceviche, toasted and salted into corn nuts or eaten as a full ear of corn, with cheese. It’s large kernels are slightly chewier than sweet corn and are often compared to hominy.

  • Chullpi

    Chullpi is a highly-valued ancient race of sweet corn which has short, wide ears and is eaten as cancha. It most likely originated in the south central Andes and is widely distributed in the Sierra of Peru.

  • Coconut

    Coconuts historically allowed humans to voyage to new lands in the Pacific, as they are a portable source of food and water. Humans have also helped the coconut to travel, with researchers believing that Austronesian seafarers from the Philippines took the coconut to Ecuador over two thousand years ago. Universally recognized as an icon of oceanside relaxation, the coconut is much more than an exotic snack. The fruit is in fact one of the tropics’ most critical crops, known as “the fruit of a thousand uses” in Malaysia. Coconut flesh is high in healthy fats and its milk is a significant ingredient in many recipes such as curries and popular Indonesian beverages known as bandrek.

  • Lucuma

    Lucuma, before its modern use in ice cream, was traditionally a healing food in Peru. The tree produces fruits all year round, and the high-calorie, high-mineral fruit may be very important when other crops fail or are out of season.

  • Mango

    The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines but is popular worldwide. Some people even claim that it is the most popular fruit in the world, suggesting that they are eaten in more countries than any other fruit. In Peru, several varieties are cultivated and the country is one of the largest producers of mango in the world.

  • Mashua

    Mashua is one of the highest yielding Andean tubers (yield can reach 70 tons per hectare) and one of the easiest to grow. It thrives on marginal soils, develops rapidly, and competes successfully with weeds.

  • Native Potatoes

    Recent estimates suggest there are over 2000 varieties of potato that are native to Peru, with a great number of them native to Cusco- an outstanding showcase of biodiversity. They are adapted to a great range of ecologies and farmers ensure their ongoing evolution by continuing to cultivate them.

  • Oca

    Oca is a tuber that originated in the Andes over 5,000 years ago. It is one of the most important staple crops in the region due to its easy propagation and tolerance of poor soil, high altitude and harsh climates. Tubers are long and thin and range in color from white to deep grayish purple.

  • Passionfruit

    Passion fruit grows on vines pollinated by carpenter bees and is technically a type of berry. The purple variety can be grown in subtropical environments whilst the larger yellow variety is better in tropical environments. Nutritional benefits of passion fruit include high levels of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

  • Purple Maize

    Purple corn is used to make the drink Chicha Morada which is believed by many to have health benefits. The purple corn color comes from high levels of natural pigments called anthocyanins which may have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic properties.

  • Quinoa

    Quinoa was domesticated five to seven thousand years ago by farmers living along the shores of Lake Titicaca. It can tolerate water with elevated levels of salt, high winds, frosts, and droughts, which allows it to be cultivated in high-risk climate regions. It is one of the few crops that can survive in the Andean Altiplano’s harsh clime. There are hundreds of varieties and this diversity can still be found around Lake Titicaca.

  • Rocoto

    Rocoto, the hot pepper with a distinctive, explosive taste, has been cultivated in the Andean region for millennia and was used in ceremonies of the Incan royalty. It is a tall, robust plant which is adapted to cooler temperatures and is most often grown in small-scale family plots.

  • Sweetpotato

    Sweet potato is a tough crop, able to grow in arid conditions and with little demand for water or fertilizer. It is high in carbohydrates and vitamin A, with the yellow-orange fleshed varieties particularly high in vitamins A and C. The leaves can also be eaten, providing additional protein, vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are grown worldwide, particularly in China, but Latin America is its original home.

  • Tarwi

    Tarwi seeds, seen in the markets of Cusco, are very high in protein and are also a source of vegetable oil. It is a pioneer species because of its strong roots that can loosen soil, as well as drawdown nitrogen from the air, helping to improve the land on which it is grown.

  • Yacón

    Yacón is a distant relative of the sunflower. Its name comes from the Quechua word yaku alluding to the root’s high water content. The roots are eaten raw and are sweet, low in calories, with a juicy flesh similar to that of an apple or watermelon. In the Andes, yacón is often grated and squeezed through a cloth to make a sweet refreshing drink. In Spanish colonial times it was used as a food for sailors. Today, yacón is especially sought after for its health properties. The roots contain oligofructose, a sugar that the human body does not metabolize. It is the main ingredient used to make syrup for diabetes patients.

Our Partners

The experience was made possible by the commitment of our partners


  • Video
  • Images
  • Media Kit

Food Forever Experience Cusco


Mercedes Aráoz, Vice President of Peru


Marie Haga


Barbara Wells, CIP


Alejandro Argumendo, ANDES Foundation


Palmiro Ocampo, Chef


Mei Zhuron, CAAS








Social Media Toolkit

Event Guide

Declaration of Interdependence

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